FOR 12-year-old Oliver Crompton, you simply cannot put a price on an Olympic dream.
The St James’ High School pupil travels a whopping 600 miles every week so he can become a world-class diver.
And Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley had better watch out as the youngster, who only took up the sport three years ago, has already been making waves.
His proud parents, Peter and Lisa Crompton, of Kingsland Road, Farnworth, admit the £250 of petrol each month to get Oliver to the Elite centre in Leeds — because there is a lack of top-class facilities in Bolton — along with the £55 club fees, 16 hours of training and 12 hours of travelling time, are a major commitment by the whole family.
Mr Crompton, aged 41, said: “The financial cost of this 100-mile trip six times a week, along with the club fees and competition costs, are proving to be very difficult in the current financial climate.
“However, we and his coach can see Oliver’s very real potential and have made every effort to support him.”
Dedicated Oliver also travels to three or four competitions each year across the UK, including trips to Sheffield, Plymouth, Southampton, Luton and Edinburgh.
Each competition lasts for up to four days and the entry fees, combined with accommodation and travelling costs can total more than £400 for each event.
Mr Crompton said: “In the run-up to the events, Oliver frequently trains over whole weekends and other consecutive days, as school holidays allow.
“It is more productive for Oliver to be well-rested, which means hotel accommodation has proved invaluable, and that adds further to the financial cost.”
Oliver’s commitment has already paid off as he has competed at national level in Southampton.
Recently, in Luton, he was second out of 12 in the 5m board, fourth out of 15 on the 3m board and third on the 1m board.
Now the family is calling for businesses to get behind one of the next generations of Olympians to compete at the highest level.
Mr Crompton said: “Because of the financial burden of the economic downturn, Oliver’s ability to continue this essentially high level of training is under strain.
“We have already received some funding from Serco, the Bolton Provincial/Walsh Trust as well as support from Kevin Davies’ charity KiDs of Bolton which helps with the club fees. We do need support with the travelling and fuel costs, and any sponsorship offers would be apprec-iated.”
“It would allow a ‘rising star’ in the sport to continue to training at a world class facility”.
The family has also praised teachers at St James’ High School for their role in nurturing the talented diver.
- Anyone who can offer support or sponsorship to the family can contact Robert Kelly on the sports desk at The Bolton News on 01204 537246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read more about Oliver in our sport section here.