Sir Mike Penning MP shows his support for Dacorum hurdler Ralph Williams at fundraiser

Two months ago 16 year old Dacorum hurdler Ralph Williams was delighted to be selected as part of the CSSF U18 Great Britain Athletic Team to compete in the 110m Hurdles at the Stadium Iolanda Balasz Soter in Bucharest, Romania this July.

This is an amazing achievement for Ralph who has lived in Hemel Hempstead for all of his life and has been training and competing in athletics since he was 10. Hurdles has always being his favourite even. Realising we had to raise funds towards the week long trip we looked to the local community for help and support.

Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors published an article when Ralph received selection and Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning invited Ralph to his constituency office to pledge his support.

A fundraising quiz was organised to help and this took place in Great Gaddesden Parish Hall over the weekend where over seventy locals filled the hall with ten teams competing for the winning honour!

Many local businesses were quick to offer support with The Snow Centre, Our Gym, Physique Gym, XC Centre, The Alban Arena, Choice Pet Supplies, Berkhamsted Sports, Temptation Gifts Berkhamsted and Books66 all donating fantastic prizes for the raffle.

Sir Mike Penning MP and his wife Angie (Mike donated a House of Commons Teddy) enjoyed the quiz where fish and chips was the order of the evening supplied by Markyate Fish Bar (who also donated a gift voucher for the raffle).

Local beautician Lianne Rispoli was the quizmaster (and even donated a voucher for her Bellatique studio) fortunately with the help of microphone and speaker system (supplied free of charge by County Councillor Terry Douris). Special thanks must go to Claire Woods who has spent the last two months helping to organise the event, rounds of questions then being scorekeeper on the night.

The honour of quiz winners went to the ‘Secret Squirrels’ of Markyate.

It was an amazing evening and a quick count revealed just over £600 was raised..and this, together with other pledges, means the target has been reached.

Ralph and his parents would like to thank everyone who has helped them with this as they are absolutely blown away by the support they have had from the community.

They would also like to say thank you to Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers.

This just shows how amazing the people of Dacorum are.

The next morning Ralph was back in training continuing his preparation for the games.

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