Bourne’s skiing star Jade Etherington – the most successful British woman in Winter Paralympic history – may be forced to quit competition because of debts built up training for Sochi.
The 23-year-old has not revealed the size of the debt but Lincolnshire Sport is asking people in Jade’s home county to put their hands in their pockets to help.
Janet Inman, head of Lincolnshire Sport, says Jade is on its elite programme and “we give her a little bit of money”, but it’s not enough to meet training costs.
Janet said: “When Lincolnshire Sport heard about the debt Jade found herself in following the Sochi Winter Paralympics, we decided to try and rally the county behind this unique athlete and try to get people in Lincolnshire to help remove the debt Jade has accumulated over the last four years representing her county and country on the world stage.
“Funding should not be the reason Jade gives up skiing.
“Jade is now at a point where she has to make a decision about her future, whether to continue training and competing for the next four years or retire, at the age of 23, and complete her studies and enter the world of employment as a teacher. Help us support her to make a decision based on passion and performance.”
Jade told the Spalding Guardian: “I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a tough decision to make.”
The skier and her guide, Caroline Powell, won three silvers and a bronze in Sochi.
Jade said: “It’s not only funding – I didn’t do it for the money – it’s four years of two people’s lives. It is not a decision you can make lightly.”
Jade has been awarded the Freedom of Bourne and on Friday had an open top bus tour of Lincoln to share her success with thousands of people.
• To donate please call Lincolnshire Sport on 01522 585580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org