Goldie Sayers to mentor Katarina Johnson-Thompson as part of sponsorship deal
- Credit: PA
Sporting philanthropist Barrie Wells has agreed to sponsor Suffolk’s Goldie Sayers on the condition that she in turn mentors the world’s leading heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson in her quest for Olympic gold in Rio, next summer.
The collaboration was devised by Wells who has financially backed Johnson-Thompson since her 16th birthday and during her successful rise in the heptathlon to be world number one in 2014.
In view of the fact that Johnson-Thompson’s weakest disciplines have always been throwing events – including the javelin – Wells developed the idea for this ‘pay it forward’ scheme with UK javelin record holder, Sayers, who was born in Newmarket.
Wells said: “I sat down with Goldie to discuss how I could help her achieve her ambitions in the javelin in world championships and Olympics and we hatched the plan to offer sponsorship in return for Goldie sharing her throwing expertise with Katarina.
“The pair have already successfully trained twice together at Katarina’s base in Liverpool.”
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Johnson-Thompson added: “Barrie has very generously supported me since we first met six years ago and continues to be an important influence in my life.
“His extremely imaginative suggestion of funding Goldie to support me is a stroke of genius and I am – once again – in a position to not be able to thank him enough.”
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Sayers has battled back from injury problems which wrecked her dreams of medalling at the 2012 Olympics and saw her Lottery funding axed after being dropped from UK Athletics’ World Class Performance Programme for this year.
She said: “The scenario is exactly like that in the Kevin Spacey film ‘Pay it Forward’ as
“Barrie is in a position to do me a big favour whilst in return, it will be my pleasure to be able to support Katarina.”
Wells concluded: “We will all be hoping this makes a big impact on Kat’s campaign to win the World Championship Heptathlon in Beijing on August 20th and 21st as she continues progressing towards Rio in 2016 – perhaps even coming closer to the magic 7,000 points.”
Wells funded 18 UK athletes in the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics.