English Channel swimmer looking for sponsors

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Bhopal, Oct 12 (UNI) The long-cherished dream of an Indian sportswoman -- who swam across the English Channel twice -- to bring more laurels for the nation is still unfulfilled thanks to a paucity of sponsors in a cricket-crazy country.

''The paucity is causing financial hardship for other sports and players who are neglected,'' Rashmi Sharma, who comes from a middle-class family, told reporters here. She is in the Madhya Pradesh capital in connection with the 38th Central Schools Organisation National Sports Meet.

In July 2008, she intends to be the first Asian woman to make a round swim of the Channel but is looking for a sponsor.

''It is surprising that sponsors are keen to support cricket and football but not other sports,'' said Rashmi who dedicated her achievements to her ex-athlete mother and hotel employee father.

Last August, her attempt for a round swim remained unfinished due to inclement weather. Her father spent about Rs 8 lakh on her endeavour.

Responding to a query, she said that she chose long-distance swimming as it had more scope.

''I would like to swim across the seven seas,'' Rashmi added.


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