Serena secures funding from Ron Harrod foundation

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15-year-old Norfolk track star to be funded by Ron Harrod Foundation in 2019

This year, three talented young athletes from Norfolk and Suffolk have been chosen to receive £5,000 of funding including record-breaking 15-year-old runner Serena Grace from Norwich.

Harrod Sport are proud to champion young local talent and have created the Ron Harrod Foundation to support promising local athletes, aged under 25, who face challenges funding their sporting career.

About Serena

Serena attends Notre Dame RC High School in Norwich and competes for the City of Norwich Athletics Club. She began competing aged just 10 years old. In the last five years she has represented her Club at County, Regional and National level and has been Norfolk County Champion for the last three years in 60m, 100m, 200m and 300m in both U15 and U17 categories.

To date, Serena has more than 130 medals and nearly 30 trophies in her collection. The young athlete also appeared in the local newspaper, The Eastern Daily press, having been awarded theNorfolk and Waveney Outstanding Sporting Achievement of the Year 2017.

Her biggest achievement so far has been breaking the 300m County Championship record which hadn't been broken since the early 1990s – before Serena was born.

Former Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, a member of the Ron Harrod Foundation judging panel, said of Serena’s achievement: “By breaking a record that has stood for longer than she’s been alive is no mean feat. She must be extremely talented and hardworking.”

Serena was nominated by her mum, Vanessa Butcher who said that funding Serena’s athletics career as a single parent has been challenging: “I've often had to buy pre-owned footwear and equipment for her just so she can continue what she enjoys doing.

“Without foundations such as The Ron Harrod Foundation, young athletes like Serena would not have the financial support to be the best that they can be.”

How the winners were chosen

Harrod Sport invited nominations from the public in autumn 2018. These athletes were shortlisted by a judging panel including Tony Bush from Active Suffolk and Jack Herbert, P.E. Teacher at Pakefield Primary, with the winning athletes selected and announced by Olympic boxer Anthony Agogo.

Kevin Utton, Director of Sports Sales & Marketing at Harrod Sport explains that: “Our judges simply couldn’t choose between all of the talent, so we are delighted to announce that we have three winners who will each share the pot and receive funding this year.”

The winner’s stories can be read here.

About Harrod Sport

Harrod Sport began in 1954, when founder Ron Harrod invested £300 and started to convert old herring nets into sports and gardening netting in a factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Ron Harrod is a pioneer in goal post safety and became a co-founding member of the European Standards Committee (CEN Standards) in 1989. His son Chris Harrod (Chief Executive) currently represents the U.K. on the committee.

Ron Harrod, now 87, retired in 2005, but his children - Chris and Stephanie - ensure his legacy lives on, both in a business sense and with the ethos Ron maintained throughout the years that the ‘customer is king’.

In 2017, the company changed its name from Harrod UK to Harrod Sport.

For more information on Harrod Sport and the Ron Harrod Foundation email us or call on 01502 583515.