Harrod Sport, based in Lowestoft, have released the three athletes who will receive funding this year to help continue with their sporting ambitions. Set up in 2018, The Ron Harrod Foundation was created to provide funding for sportsmen and women under 25 and help them excel in their chosen sport.
At Harrod Sport, The Ron Harrod Foundation is very important to everyone and this year more so than ever, as in December 2020, Harrod Sport lost their beloved founder, Ron Harrod.
Ron Harrod not only founded Harrod Sport, but was the inspiration behind awarding young athletes funding to assist them with their sport for a year and beyond that, as they go on to excel.
They are determined to help young athletes who require extra funding to assist with their goals and aspirations in relation to their sport to help make dreams achievable. This ideology is more prominent than ever to ensure Ron’s legacy lives on and continues to support members of the community in the same way he did.
The impact this has on young athletes and their hopes for reaching a professional standard is unquantifiable.
Upon receiving the news of his award, Joshua Vallance, a talented athlete in motorsport 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.’
Joshua (16) from Dereham, is a passionate and determined athlete, having competed in Motorsports since he was 9. This year, Josh will be competing for the British Title in the ‘2021 Super One Kart Championship’ as he works hard to achieve his career ambition of competing in Formula 1.
Alice Masterman (24) from Portsmouth, is an exceptional sailor, aspiring to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games. Alice is also currently training for the 49er European Championship, held in Greece this September and the 49er FX World Championship, held in Oman in November.
When Alice was asked how winning the Ron Harrod funding made her feel, she said ‘The award adds motivation as it shows other people believe in my potential and want to help me in any way possible, which is really heart-warming and I am extremely grateful.
This money will contribute towards new equipment (which I was worried about buying), meaning I can perform to the best of my ability and focus all of my energy on sailing events’.
Fiona Stokes is also one of the chosen athletes for 2021; a talented golfer who inspires Junior golfers through her coaching and inspirational play. Fiona coaches alongside her own competing and is playing on the PGA Regional Circuit and in the Women’s Professional Golfers’ Association, as well as studying a professional Golf Studies Degree.
Upon being awarded the money, Fiona told us, ‘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’.
Former professional footballer Iwan Roberts, Foundation Ambassador for 2021 said “Being part of the judging panel for The Ron Harrod Foundation is truly inspiring. Watching young ambitious athletes get the funding they need to exceed in their sports is incredible and this year’s winners are certainly deserving. Our recipients Fiona, Joshua and Alice have all shown how sport can be used to bring communities together and give light to people through what has been a tough year. I’m looking forward to seeing them excel and wish them all the best for the future.”
This is our third year of sponsoring athletes and we are exceptionally proud of the community we have built around the Ron Harrod Foundation and are honoured to be affiliated with such talented people. With Alice, Fiona and Joshua as our selected athletes for 2021, that takes us to a total of nine sponsored athletes overall.
Director of Sales and Marketing Kevin Utton, who has been involved with the foundation since it began, commented, ‘it has been an unprecedented time for us all and recently, sport has suffered substantially. These chosen athletes are an inspiration to us all and we can’t wait to see more of what they have to offer.’
Nominations for 2022 will reopen in August of this year. This process will be available on their website with more information to be released closer to the date.
For further information relating to Harrod Sport visit: https://www.harrodsport.com/about