National Athlete Pleads For Support

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There is a desperate campaign on the way to raise funds for a national youth sailor and his coach currently representing Antigua & Barbuda at the International Laser Class Association Under-21 World Championships in Belgium.
Jules Mitchell and coach Ashley Rhodes, both currently in Belgium, along with Jules’ mother Susan Athill Mitchell who is here in Antigua, started a social medial campaign as far back as June 8, sensitizing the public on the athlete’s position and the funds that would have been needed for him to represent the twin-island state at the championships.
But despite assistance from both the Antigua Yacht Club (AYC) and the National Olympic Committee (NOC), the athlete and his coach were, up to Friday morning, in need of over US $800.
“Up to this morning [Friday] it was US $965.00 and I just picked up some more money so we should be down to about US $890 and because they had to borrow money from what I had sent up to pay the hotel bill, this is so that they would be able to pay the hotel bill when they are ready to leave,” she said.
The athlete’s mother however went on to thank those who would have contributed to her son’s drive to represent his country at the highly ranked championships.
“We got some support from the solidarity fund at the Antigua & Barbuda Olympic Association and we also did get some assistance from the Antigua Yacht Club and we’ve had a couple of smaller sponsors as well and other than that it’s all been through donations really. People have been very generous but in the end this whole entire regatta has come up to just under US $10,000,” Susan said. 
Asked why her son was allowed to travel to Belgium with insufficient funds, Susan said there were a number of hidden costs to participate in the championships that were not particularly publicized ahead of him traveling to Belgium.
“Things didn’t pan out the way we had planned because the boats cost 1100 euros and there were a few other [unknown] expenses so they had to use their hotel money so we are raising money to pay the hotel bill before they leave,” she said.
“This particular regatta, I don’t know why, it was extremely hard to get information. For example, I registered the coach and nowhere on the documentation was there a coach registration fee but when they went to register they actually found they has to pay 50 euros so there were a lot of things where the information wasn’t absolutely there,” she added.
The first day of racing, scheduled for yesterday, was cancelled due to high winds.
Those who want to assists in the fundraising efforts or make a donation can do so by contacting Susan at 724-0222.

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