Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
Claxton loses funding
Colchester Olympian Sarah Claxton has been dealt a bombshell after discovering her lottery funding has been withdrawn by UK Athletics.
The 100 metres hurdler is not among the athletes invited on to the world-class performance programme for the 2009/2010 season.
It means she will have to pay her own expenses when her funding runs out next month.
Claxton, 30, told the Gazette: “It’s very disappointing.
“The funding has made a massive contribution and it’s thanks to that I was able to stop working, to fully concentrate on my athletics.
“Now I’ll have to pay for everything myself.
“I can still enter the same competitions but it’s going to make a real difference, particularly with something like warm-weather training for next year’s European Championships (in Barcelona).
“I won’t be able to go somewhere for so long, so my preparation will be affected.”
Claxton found out by letter last week – and admitted the news came as a shock.
“I expected to be on the list again,” she said.
“I’ve had a hamstring injury recently, which has kept me out for about a month and a half, but that’s not my fault.
“I thought it would be taken into consideration and I know the UK Athletics people are aware, because their doctors have got my notes.”
Claxton also admitted the news is hurtful and said: “By withdrawing my funding, they obviously don’t feel I’m someone who is progressing as I should be.
“But I find that quite hurtful, because I’ve improved every season and this year was also going well until injuries got in the way.”
Claxton, who started receiving lottery funding last December, has re-applied for the Essex Ambassador Awards Scheme, which aims to help athletes with London 2012 potential.
If successful – she is due to find out next month – she will receive financial help with things like her travel expenses.
The Colchester and Tendring Athletic Club life member finished eighth in the final at last year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
She also competed at the 2004 Olympics, the 2005 World Championships and the World Indoor Championships in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009.