City ladies could be forced to pull out of league

City of Portsmouth ladies pose with Great Britain athlete Jenni Meadows, front row, second right, and head coach Bronwin Carter, front row, second left

City of Portsmouth ladies pose with Great Britain athlete Jenni Meadows, front row, second right, and head coach Bronwin Carter, front row, second left

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CITY OF PORTSMOUTH could be forced to withdraw from the UK Women’s Athletics League as a lack of funding means the club may be unable to fulfil their fixture list.

City, who compete in division two – the third tier of the national league system – are due to participate at Victoria Park, City of Glasgow in June 2013. But the cost of travel, believed to be around £6,000, has raised doubts over their attendance.

And team manager, Bronwin Carter, has accepted that unless the club receive sponsorship, they will be left in an untenable position.

She said: ‘We are absolutely gutted with the current situation.

‘We went up to Glasgow two years ago for a fixture and managed to subsidise it but prices have gone up so much since then that it is no longer affordable.

‘We have exhausted every avenue we can think of, including the council and sports grants. The club can only subsidise so much. We do not want to bankrupt them.’

Carter added: ‘If we don’t fulfil the fixture, then we could lose our place in the league.

‘There are only three fixtures in the season, which are attended by all of the teams, so if we don’t compete at Glasgow, too many points would be lost to other teams.’

City, who narrowly missed out on promotion to division one last season, finishing third, now face the very real prospect of relegation to division three – the lowest competitive national league.

And Carter has suggested that should that scenario arise, the ambitious club would have to reconsider their future.

She said: ‘We are a strong division two side with dreams of competing in the premier league but, for that to happen, we need to get ourselves into division one.

‘It is completely realistic to aim for promotion this season.

‘We came third last year with many injuries and have attracted a number of new athletes, including long-jumpers and sprinters.

‘We are delighted to have many talented athletes at the club but they do not want to miss out on competing at a decent level.’

‘If we were to get relegated to division three, we would have to look at our future in the national league set-up.

‘We may be forced to withdraw altogether.’

With so much at stake for City of Portsmouth, Carter is hopeful a sponsor can be found to allow the team to continue.

She said: ‘We know times are tight because we are in a recession but any support would be greatly appreciated.

‘If somebody could give a thousand pound or two, then that would go a long way towards the team being able to continue in the league.’

If you are interested in providing financial support for the City of Portsmouth ladies’ team, please contact team manager Bronwin Carter by email at bronwin.carter@hotmail.co.uk

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