Rhys McClenaghan EYOF funding campaign


We received this press release today from Pledge Sports in regards to the difficult financial situation facing Irish and Northern Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan. Being involved in gymnastics in Ireland ourselves, we know how expensive these trips and competitions can for be gymnasts and their families.


Gymnast Carson warns Irish Olympic candidate McClenaghan could miss European Youth Olympics without funding
– International gymnast has launched campaign on PledgeSports.org to help emerging star fulfill potential

January 05, 2015

INTERNATIONAL gymnast Luke Carson has hailed Bangor youngster Rhys McClenaghan as “ahead of everyone else”, but warns that without financial backing he could be forced out of this year’s European Youth Olympics Festival in Tibilsi, Georgia.

The 15-year-old, who trains under Carson at the Rathgael Gymnastics Club in his hometown of Bangor, Northern Ireland, is already a three-time UK School Games medalist and has secured a place on the Irish 2016 Olympic Training Squad with his world-class pommel horse routines.

Carson feels he has the potential and drive to go all the way in gymnastics and is targeting the EYOF in July, but with no funding available for juniors in the sport his training fees, camps and competition entries and costs have to be entirely supported by his family, who are struggling to afford to keep him on the right path towards achieving his full potential.

Carson has launched a fundraising campaign on online crowdfunding platform PledgeSports.org in a bid to raise McClenaghan £3,000, what Carson considers the bare minimum he will need to compete at the EYOF.

He explained: “He’s a head of everyone else. His work ethic, his determination, his motivation is far superior to that of most people his age. He already shows many qualities of a senior gymnast. I know that he’s serious about gymnastics, he shows me that every day. He would out-perform even some of the top internationals around the world, and his pommel horse routines would be bigger than most senior internationals, with him being able to complete one of the hardest skills in the world, the triple Russian on one handle.

“I can see him, with the correct coaching on my part, going the full way. Not just going to Worlds and Olympics and Commonwealth Games as a competitor, but pushing for medals. But because there is no funding available for him as a junior, it is very hard to raise the money he needs to get to the competitions.”

He added: “If he gets a medal at the EYOF, which has never been done before by an Irish gymnast, he opens himself up to some pretty decent funding from the Irish Olympic Council, but he needs funds to get to the EYOF to compete for that medal and funding. It’s a vicious circle.”

McClenaghan’s campaign on PledgeSports.org offers anyone who wants to support the rising superstar the platform to do so, with as little or as much as they have to offer. The EYOF starts on July 26.

For further details contact:

Rhys McClenaghan

Twitter: @rhysgymnast1 Instagram: rhysmcc1

You may remember seeing the below video of Rhys aged 13 performing 2 loops + 3 russians on one pommel, 2 loops 2 stockli and 3 russians.

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