TED Conversations

Jessica Winkler

Owner, Kite Beach Yucatan

This conversation is closed.

How come Pro athletes receive such little support & funding?

Everyone enjoys going to a football game, watching tennis on tv or playing sport video games. Sport is primary basis of our culture so why do athletes struggle so much? I am currently one of the small handfull of women kiteboarders in the world and has a once in a life time opportunity to rank top 9 in the world for speed. I'm about to be the only ranked canadian women setting the record for the country and have been invited to the World Kite Speed Championships in France this July. So far i've funded everything myself but can't afford the flight. How is it that such a small thing can hold a person back from achieving the most important in their life? I'm constantly struggling to understand why its so hard to achieve this.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 7 2012: Hi Jessica, Nice to talk to you again. Yours is not a main line sport and that causes a problem. I hate to approach the subject from this angle but Mike and Adam are right. You are going to have to sell yourself. From your photo you appear to be young and attractive .... that would sell sun screen, kite board manufactures, sail makers, helmet makers, sun glasses, hair protection, swim suits, wet suits, gloves, shoes, board wax, and the list goes on. As was said below airlines will write off your fare for a ad that says you always travel with them, local travel agents, etc ... Don't forget a hotel chain for free rooms in exchange for "I always stay here".

    Incorporate yourself. Make this a business as well as a competative sport. After you incorporate you can afford to hire a agent to do all of this for you and as a limited licenced corporation all the bills are through the agency. If it fails you are protected by the LLC laws.

    Hope to read about you in the finals. All the best. Bob.
    • thumb
      Jun 7 2012: Thank you Rob,

      I'm not that young but thanks for the compliment ;). I actually do have an agent & have been working on selling myself over the past 1 1/2 years. I finally got a kite sponsor but I still have to purchase the equipment. I have a bunch of smaller sponsors but they do not offer free product, everything is at a discount. Trying to break into the general sport market as a extreme sports female is extremely difficult and so far no one is willing to invest. It's a bit frustrating. I will continue to work at it but this opportunity is close to slipping through my finger tips & it's sad.
      • thumb
        Jun 16 2012: Maybe it's time to consider getting a new agent. Just saying.
        • thumb
          Jun 16 2012: I just fired my agent 3 days ago. Yesterday I got a full sponsorship by a clothing company & my kite sponsor agreed to pay for my travel expenses to compete in France...... good start

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.