This year gliding has an incredible opportunity to promote both gliding and women in sport; the UK is hosting the Women’s World Gliding Championships (WWGC) at The Gliding Centre in South Leicestershire.
Women’s sport is often overlooked, and underfunded. Only 7% of UK glider pilots are women. We want to help promote gliding and aviation to show women and girls that gliding is something they can participate in and enjoy and we want to encourage more women into gliding and aviation.
Over the last couple of years, separate from the competition organisers, a few individuals have put in a huge amount of work to set up and run a training squad. The success of this initiative became apparent last year when all UK competitions suddenly had far more female entrants than in previous years. This climaxed in the 2021 Hus Bos Challenge Cup, where 6 of the top 7 places were taken by women.
The initiative also helped us put together a sizeable team of female pilots to represent the UK in this year's WWGC being hosted in this country. (Pictured Below)
We want to send the largest possible UK team to the World Championships. From an original squad of 12 that started training for the Championships in 2020 seven pilots (and a reserve) from 6 different gliding clubs across the UK have been selected for the UK team:
Alison Mulder, Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club
Claudia Hill, London Gliding Club
Carol Marshall, Dorset Gliding Club
Francesca Roberts, The Gliding Centre
Ayala Truelove, Lasham Gliding Society
Sally Walker, London Gliding Club
Jane Nash, Bristol and Gloucestershire Gliding Club
Kelly Teagle, Yorkshire Gliding Club
Glider pilots are unpaid amateur athletes so the team fund their own flying and the cost of participating in the competitions they use for team selection as well as training for the actual World Championship.
Flying in a World Championship, even when hosted in the UK, is significantly more expensive than flying in a UK national or regional competition.
We need the biggest team possible to maximise the number of UK pilots, to promote and increase diversity, but there is only funding for four pilots that covers their entry fees and part funds the cost of participating in the World Championship.
Here's an overview of items we have to budget for (all costs are approximations):
Some teams at the World Championships this year will be fully funded through their national association and government body. This is simply not the case for UK pilots with only 4 pilots being part funded. The costs to the pilots of representing their country whilst helping to promote gliding and women in sport are significantly more than flying a normal gliding competition, as you can see from the table above.
£5000 would provide the 3 unfunded pilots with the same funding as the 4 part-funded ones, but we're hoping to raise £9000 to cover a larger proportion of the overall costs for the team. WILL YOU HELP US?
Our initial goal is to raise the £1965 required to fund the competition entry fees of the 3 unfunded pilots.
To ensure we can field a team of 7 at the World Championships we need the support of our community. Please, consider supporting us. Any donation will help.
Thank you so much for your support!
British Women's Gliding Team