Ron Harrod Foundation 'values live on' with boost for talented athletes
- Credit: Courtesy of Fiona Stokes/Harrod Sport
The legacy of an inspirational Lowestoft man is continuing to help others after two talented athletes from Suffolk and Norfolk were awarded funding to help them achieve their sporting goals.
Fiona Stokes, 20, from Lowestoft and Joshua Vallance, 16, from Dereham have been awarded this year’s Ron Harrod Foundation funding along with Alice Masterman, 24, from Portsmouth.
The annual award is presented to athletes who demonstrate exceptional talent in their sport along with dedication to competing and training.
The founder of Harrod UK in Lowestoft, Mr Harrod, 89, died on December 29 last year.
But Harrod UK and the Ron Harrod Foundation - a trust set up in 2018 - live on.
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Back in 1954 Mr Harrod and his wife Margaret started Harrod of Lowestoft, which is now more commonly known as Harrod UK, Harrod Sport and Harrod Horticultural.
Of the trust, a Harrod Sport spokesman said: "Mr Harrod's recent passing has meant that as a company, we are all the more determined to help young athletes make their sporting dreams achievable.
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"This ideology is more prominent than ever to ensure Ron’s values live on."
Joshua, a racing kart driver from Dereham, has competed in motorsports since he was nine.
This year, he will be competing for the British title in the 2021 Super One Kart Championship.
He said: "The last person to take the racing world by storm from a humble background was Lewis Hamilton, who himself said that nobody from his background will have the opportunity he had, but it took one person to believe in his ability and the rest is history.
"Thank you for believing in me."
Talented golfer Fiona inspires junior golfers through her coaching and play.
As well as coaching, Fiona is playing on the PGA Regional Circuit and in the Women’s Professional Golfers’ Association, as well as studying for a professional Golf Studies Degree.
She said: "Being selected as a Ron Harrod Foundation winner means a great deal to me in many ways – even more so this year.
"In what would have been a challenging year financially, this funding will ensure all those opportunities are viable, ultimately allowing my progression’.
Exceptional sailor Alice Masterman, from Portsmouth, was also awarded funding.