Ghoulishly, Halloween happens to mark 1,000 days until the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. LOCOG are taking this as no kind of walking dead portent and Lord Coe and his team are, in fact, ebullient. Thomas Cook have signed up as a sponsor to the tune of £20 million and there's much bigging up of the project £7 billion boost the UK economy as the Games come and go.
But while fruity sponsorship deals are rolling in and advertising and business opportunities are being trumpeted, Team GB is struggling to fund a full strength team. A £4m shortfall in the British Olympic Association budget means as things stand, they can fund 350 athletes but this won't take advantage of all the 550 competitive places available at the 2012 Games, which the home team should ideally fill. The £4m that will enable us to properly represent on the home stage seems, comparatively, a drop in the financial ocean. But where's the support? The BOA receives no government funding nor commercial sponsorship - it's all about donations. We're all for a twist on the thinking of Densign White, the British Judo Association chairman - get 100 Premiership footballers to cough up a month's wages in support of Team GB and suddenly home sport is quids in. Who's up for asking?