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UK Sprinter offers himself on EBay - Highest bid was a hoax

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UK Sprinter offers himself on EBay - Highest bid was a hoax 06_ellington415

Top British sprinter puts himself on eBay after failing to find sponsor
By Miranda Bryant
This is
6 Dec 2011

An athlete is putting himself up for auction after he failed to get the sponsorship he needs to fulfil his medal-winning dreams at the London 2012 Olympics.

James Ellington is the third fastest 200m runner in the country but missed out on a sponsorship deal after an injury forced him to take time out.

The 26-year-old from Croydon is rounding off his best season, running 200m in the fastest time by a British athlete this year at a non-altitude venue in 20.52 seconds. He came second in the national trials in July and fourth in the quarter finals of the World Championships.

But the father-of-one, who is the country's only top sprinter without a sponsor, has resorted to auctioning himself on eBay in a bid to get the minimum £30,000 of funds - a £15,000 wage and £15,000 for expenses - that he needs to give up his job as an athletics coach and focus on training full-time. He said this was vital to enable him to run the fastest times before the Olympics and secure a place in Team GB.

"It's tough but I don't hold any grudge. There are other people training full-time and I've still managed to beat them," he said.

"I just want to be on a level playing field and hopefully win a medal for Team GB. It's tough working, training and being a dad."

His eBay reserve is set at £30,000, for which he promises to wear the sponsor's branded kit at every appropriate opportunity until after the completion of the 2012 Games.

He said: "It would be a massive weight off my shoulders to focus on training without worrying about paying my bills. I will be much more confident if I get funding so next year I can afford physiotherapy and rehab to help improve my performance."

The UK Athletics World Class programme provides Mr Ellington with a contribution to help with everyday expenses and pays his medical bills, but he said he needs commercial sponsorship to put him on a level with his rivals.

Other than that funding, he earns a wage coaching under-privileged children in south-east London and supporting young athletes.



UK Sprinter offers himself on EBay - Highest bid was a hoax ?type=display

Olympic sprinter beats sponsorship target on eBay

By Hannah Williamson
This is Llocal London E-news
Tuesday 13th December 2011

An auction for an Olympic sprinter who put himself on eBay in a bid to gain sponsorship has already beaten his £30,000 reserve.

Lewisham’s James Ellington is the second fastest sprinter in the country, but the 26-year old lost out on sponsor backing after his career was blighted by four years of injury.

Despite having his best ever season and running the 200m in 20.52 seconds - the fastest time by a British athlete this year, he had no response to his calls for a sponsor.

The former Forest Hill School pupil put himself up for auction last week and with four days to go until the auction ends, bids already stand at £32,250.

He said: "I knew what I was doing was a unique thing that would attract some attention, but I didn't realise how much I would get. On a lot of auctions, people can go crazy in the last 20 minutes, but I don't know if it will happen with me, we will see.

"I am more than happy with the bid, £30,000 was the minimum I would need to train full time, anything else I get is a bonus. If the auction did go crazy and out of control, the extra money would be used after the Olympics for the Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships."

The sprinter, who works part-time coaching children, says he is committed to helping young people coming through the sport.

He said "I'm definitely positive in terms of educating the kids and being the spokesperson for people coming through the sport. Whoever bids is investing in something good."

3UK Sprinter offers himself on EBay - Highest bid was a hoax Empty Bid was a Hoax Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:07 pm



UK Sprinter offers himself on EBay - Highest bid was a hoax Ellington_2100114b

British sprinter James Ellington fears the £32,500 anonymous eBay sponsorship bid was just a 'sad hoax’

By Simon Hart
UK Telegraph
04 Jan 2012

British sprinter James Ellington fears he may have been the victim of a hoax after an anonymous bidder pledged £32,500 on the eBay website to sponsor him between now and the London Olympics.

The south Londoner made headlines across the world when he came up with the novel idea of auctioning himself online to raise money for hisOlympic campaign, and the stunt appeared to have paid off when he attracted a top bid that was £2,500 higher than his £30,000 reserve.

But, since the auction closed on Dec 17, the winning bidder has failed to come forward and attempts by eBay to track the individual down have proved fruitless. A spokeswoman for the website admitted that the bidder “doesn’t appear to be bona fide”.

Ebay is now attempting to contact some of the other leading bidders but has yet to establish whether any of them is genuine.

“There seem to be a few sad people out there,” said Ellington, who had offered to wear the winner’s branded kit in exchange for the sponsorship money he needs for training and travel, kit and basic living expenses in the run-up to London 2012.

“For me personally, I wouldn’t be missing about with someone’s career but there are certain people out there who like to mess things up.

“I’ve spoken to the guys at eBay and they say they are still trying to get in touch with the highest bidder, but they are finding it difficult and they are not sure whether the top bids may be people just messing around.

“They’re just checking out whether the bids are genuine. They haven’t got to the bottom of it yet so I’m still waiting to find out what’s going on, which is a bit frustrating.

“It obviously concerns me because it was for a good cause and it’s a serious thing that I’m doing. If people have been bidding just to mess about, then it’s annoying but hopefully there are some genuine bids there.”

After the 10-day auction closed in December, Ellington told Telegraph Sport that he “couldn’t be happier” with the result, saying he planned to use some of the money to fund a warm-weather training camp in Florida.

He added that he hoped to scale back on some of his coaching commitments to dedicate himself to his goal of a top-two finish in the 200 metres final at the Olympic trials in Birmingham in June to book his place at London 2012. But on Wednesday he insisted he would not allow himself to be distracted by the latest setback and that he remained hopeful a sponsor would still come forward.

“Throughout my life I’ve had so many let-downs that I never count my chickens before they hatch,” he said. “I was just optimistic and thought to myself, 'If I get the money then I get the money. If I don’t, I won’t even focus on it.’ I’m just trying to get on with things and focus on my training. If you get too engrossed in everything it can just eat you up, so I’m just trying to keep my head down, keep training and focus on my goal. Hopefully, something will come through and I’ll get some sponsorship.

“If it doesn’t come through, then I would have to look at other ways to try to raise the money. A lot of private people have contacted us, so if eBay doesn’t work, we may be able to sort something out.”

Ellington, 26, receives around £11,000 in Lottery cash as a “podium relay” athlete but missed out on individual funding after long-standing injury problems.

He is now fully fit and has already run the 200m Olympic qualifying 'A’ standard after clocking 20.52sec in Metz in June. He is due to open his 2012 campaign in a 400m race at the South of England Indoor Championships at Lee Valley, north London, on Jan 15.

An eBay spokeswoman said: “It’s unfortunate that this top bidder doesn’t appear to be bona fide. We are a trading platform and ultimately we need people to play by the rules.

“It’s pretty rare and I’m confident that James will still get some sponsorship out of this. He’s obviously had tremendous publicity from just being on eBay, so I think the outcome for him will be a good one.”



Sponsor found for sprinter

The Examiner
19 Jan, 2012

LONDON - A British athlete who tried to pay the costs of his Olympic preparations by selling himself on an online auction site has found a sponsor at last.

Sprinter James Ellington thought he had succeeded in covering the travel, accommodation and kit costs for the London Games when he received a 35,000 ($52,000) offer on eBay.

It turned out to be a hoax but a shaving product manufacturer has stepped in to sponsor the 26-year-old Londoner.

``Going on eBay gave me amazing exposure but unfortunately the winning bidder wasn't genuine,'' Ellington said yesterday. ``I couldn't be happier that the deal has been sorted.

``Now I can focus on winning a medal for Britain in the 2012 Olympics.''

Ellington ran the third leg as Britain won gold in the 4x100 relay at the European Team Championship last year, but a string of injury problems meant that he missed out on major sponsorship deals.

Sponsored content

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