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Major brands support bid for visa-free travel in Europe for athletes

Hannah Smith, Rab/Lowe Alpine athlete and member of the GB Climbing Team
Rab and Lowe Alpine are supporting athletes such as Hannah Smith to allow them to travel freely in the EU (Image credit: Craig Bailey)

Leading outdoors brands, Rab and Lowe Alpine, are supporting a petition to negotiate a visa-free permit for European travel for sporting professionals, athletes and young athletes.

They believe young athletes and professional climbers and mountaineers should have the opportunity to travel freely in Europe to allow them to train, compete and to pursue their profession.

The petition, which has gathered almost 6000 signatures so far, calls for the UK Government to work with the EU for visa-free permits so that athletes can travel freely for training and competition across the 27 EU member states. 

Under the current regulation, British nationals can only travel within the EU for 90 in 180 days.

Hannah Smith is a Rab/Lowe Alpine athlete and a member of the GB Climbing Team. She says: “International travel is a huge part of my life as an athlete. I compete all over Europe every year and now that I am a student I will be managing my travel and finances myself for the first time. 

"Visa-free travel would make this so much easier and stress free. The thought of having to limit my competitions abroad because of visa regulations is heartbreaking." 

A petition needs 10,000 signatures for the government to respond to it. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament. The petition will run until August 15, 2021. To sign, see: petition.

Fiona Russell

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.