Zoe Gilling’s is 26yrs old and Britain’s No 1 Olympic snow sports athlete. Due to politics right at the top level in English Sport, despite being one of the Worlds top Olympic athletes, Zoe had all her World Class funding stopped in March 2011. Keen to have her funding reinstated – Zoe let her results do the talking this season achieving 7th place at the Snowboard Cross (SBX) World Championships in Spain, several victories mid season and finished on the podium in 3rd place at the World Cup Finals in Switzerland in March 2011. A perfect response to ensure funding was reinstated.
Zoe commented on UK Sport’s decision, “I hoped UK Sport would have done the right thing but either way I’m not letting it affect me anymore. I think it’s sad and wrong but if I’m honest I always knew I had to do it myself, 11 yrs at the top level of British sport has taught me that. They may have thought I was going to quit but that was never an option, I decided on a course of action and followed it through, www.IsleofdDeals.com is the result and it’s awesome.”
With tremendous support from her sponsors – BMW, Pokerstars, Isle of Man Steam packet, Isle of Man Sports Aid and just recently Neteller, Zoe took the bold decision to turn entrepreneur in order to fund her £150k a year World class program. At 26yrs old as a female Olympic athlete with little business experience, the odds were against her.
Zoe said of IsleofDeals, “I turned entrepreneur with my main business being www.IsleofDeals.com – a marketing website based in the Isle of Man. I only launched in May and to date I now have over 4000 active customers, it’s brilliant and the support from everyone in the Isle of Man has been awesome. Anyone who buys off, tells their friends about, puts a deal on or just registers their email with IsleofDeals is investing in my Olympic training programme.
Due to her business success to date and the signing of a new sponsor – Neteller – a secure online payments system also based in the Isle of Man, Zoe has now secured her most comprehensive World class snowboard program of her career for the coming season.
Zoe finished, “I can’t wait to get back on snow, I have now negotiated access to a world class SBX coach, assistant coach, physiotherapist, wax technician and World class athletes to train with. I’ve been able to do this as I’m now doing it myself and am not governed by the politics in English sport.”
Keen to expand her business career and look at entering the English market with a developed business model, Zoe is constantly on the look out for investors and sponsors keen to take advantage of the London 2012 Olympics and the opportunities that will arise.
Zoe finished, “I couldn’t have done this without the truly loyal support of the Manx people and my personal sponsors, BMW, Isle of Man Sports Aid, Isle of Man Steam Packet, Pokerstars and now Neteller have made this all possible. Thank you.”