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Gaelyns Paratriathlon Dream

Organized by: Gaelyn Cokayne

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THE STORY:

In 2011 a simple surgery left me with an unexpected outcome – I was diagnosed with foot drop (my left foot is paralysed and I cannot lift my toes, foot or ankle at all). I found myself in a hospital bed being told I may never walk or participate in sport again. Coming from an extremely competitive sporting background this was a devastating blow. I decided on the day I came home from my third surgery that I would not let my disability stop me from participating in sport and have spent hours learning how to not just take part but to become a champion in my chosen sport of triathlon. As the top ranked and current African and South African women’s paratriathlon champion, I have some exciting opportunities to represent my country at international paratriathlon events in the coming months. If I place at these events I will earn some valuable points to assist me in my dream of competing at the World Paratriathlon Championships in Chicago, USA, in September this year, and ultimately earn a place to represent South Africa at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016. I am currently waitlisted for an event in Rio de Janeiro on 1st August, and will be entering another event in Detroit, Michigan on 16th August. Based on the results at those two events I am hoping to qualify for World Champs in Chicago on 15th September. (I have already been waitlisted for this event.) Unfortunately Triathlon South Africa are in no way able to assist athletes financially and all costs including equipment, entry fees and travel is to my own account. As I’m sure you can imagine this amount of money is beyond what I am able to afford alone, and so I am appealing to you for help. Travel will be a major expense and one which I need to secure funding for urgently as I simply cannot afford to pay for my own trips, and need to secure bookings sooner rather than later. I will need return domestic flights from East London to Johannesburg, as well as return international flights, visa’s, local transfers, hotel accommodation, meals, entry fees, insurance and other sundries. The trips to Rio ( 1st August), Detroit (16th August) and Chicago ( 15th September) will be between R30,000/$3500 and R40,000/$4000 each. My basic triathlon equipment such as bike, helmet and clothing which I purchased for practice last year while outdated and of entry level quality, is sufficient for the time being. However my monthly coaching, medical and nutritional supplementation costs are higher than I can afford. Being disabled means I have special needs and I therefore see a physiotherapist/sports masseuse twice a month, as well as a chiropractor twice a month. These appointments allow me to manage the high physical demands of my personalised training program, without being side lined by injury. My current monthly expenses for triathlon average R2500/$250. With better and more specialised triathlon equipment (watch, bike, helmet etc) I will be better equipped to handle the international field of competition. In return for your sponsorship I will arrange for your company logo to be printed on my RSA trisuit which I will be wearing when I race at both international and local events. There are 4 different sized logo positions available on my RSA trisuit, and I am hoping to have one main sponsor to take up the best advertising positions – on my chest and back below my country name. The smaller sponsors will be advertised on my shoulder and legs. I will wear your branded clothing to training sessions at my local gym, aquatics high performance center, local events and around town for extra exposure. Wherever possible I will take part in local triathlons wearing your colours or branding, and should I be fortunate enough to receive funding for it, will gladly travel around South Africa taking part in other domestic triathlon events to maximise your exposure within the triathlon/cycling/sports fraternity. I will mention your company and link directly to its website and social media profiles regularly, from my own social media accounts. I currently have a following of over 5500 people across my various social media platforms, and over 10,000 views per month on my blog - all of whom would see your name and links pop up regularly in their feed. Having studied social media management I am well aware of the power of social media and believe I will be able to assist you in getting your company/brand recognised while making sure the right people see it. I am appealing to you to assist me in any way possible, to reach my dream of competing internationally for my country and achieving the goals I have set myself. 4 years ago I was not sure whether I would be able to walk again. I now not only walk, but swim, cycle and run! I want to be a world class paratriathlete representing my beautiful country and proudly showing what hard work, determination, courage and an unstoppable attitude can achieve. I look forward to your response to my plea in the near future. Kind regards Gaelyn Cokayne Find me online at: Blog: gaelynsheartofiron.blogspot.com Instagram: @gaecokayne Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-of-Iron/1453168264941813?ref=hl https://www.facebook.com/anewweigh?ref=hl Twitter: @gaecokayne Email: gaelyncokayne@gmail.com Achievements: 1st place African Continental Championships 1st place South African National Paratriathlon Championships 4th place ITU paratriathlon event held in Buffalo City Ranked 1st in South Africa Ranked 1st in Africa Ranked 15th in the world

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Organized by

Gaelyn Cokayne

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