Stacey Tadd may be forced to give up on her elite level swimming career unless she can find help to fund her full-time training.
English record-holder Tadd, who has lived in Radstock all her life, just missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the 200m breaststroke at London 2012 but her failure to finish inside the top 16 means that her UK Sport lottery funding is coming to an end.
At the age of 23 and with her performances improving over recent years, she believes it is too early to hang up her goggles, but says she will only be able to do herself justice if she can train full-time.
“I don’t feel ready to give up on swimming yet as I’ve been improving, but I don’t know what else I can do,” said Tadd, who was 18th fastest in the heats at the Olympics.
“I’ve had major injuries in the past, the last of which was in 2008. Since then I’ve improved and gone to every major championships. I’d like to continue that and get closer to the British record.
“I’ve got some money saved up so I can carry on for now but it can’t go on indefinitely. We have our trials in spring next year to get to the World Championships so I’ll at least keep on training until then.
“I knew it would come but going from a certain amount of funding to absolutely nothing is difficult.
“I did have a part-time job a couple of years ago but I found it quite tough having that as well as my training. I think I benefited from being able to concentrate fully on my swimming when I did get the funding and was able to train full-time.
“If I can’t find the funding, I would have to get a job but I’ve got no idea what.”
Despite missing out on a place in the Olympic semi-finals by just two-tenths of a second, Tadd looks back on her experience at London 2012 fondly, having gone within half a second of her own English record.
She has also received plenty of support from her family and friends, and even other local fans that she previously did not know.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Tadd. “Obviously I would have liked to have got a personal best but it was the best morning heat swim that I’ve ever done.
“Everyone’s been really supportive, my friends and family have been great.
“I’ve even had a couple of people walk past my house and congratulate me, so it’s really good to have that.”
Any companies or individual who can provide sponsorship for Tadd can contact her via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.