Twin sisters Poppy and Serenity Howell, pupils at St. Aidan’s School, Harrogate have made a giant leap forward in their bid to make the London 2012 Paralympics team …with a little help from local car retailer Benfield Ford and Olympic World Record holder and Triple Jumper, Jonathan Edwards !
Poppy and Serenity, aged 16, were presented with a cheque for £500 from the Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan Edwards, on behalf of Benfield Ford, to help with their Paralympics training costs ahead of the games.
Harrogate Paralympics hopefuls twin sisters Poppy and Serenity Howell receive a sponsorship cheque from Olympic gold Medallist Jonathan Edwards on behalf of Benfield Ford, Harrogate. (Left to right) Jonathan Edwards, Melissa Leach, Teaching Assistant, Poppy and Serenity Howell and Benfield Ford, General Manager, Nigel Clayton
The gesture by Benfield Ford came after Poppy and Serenity wrote to local firms to help with the costs for coaching and much needed physiotherapy sessions leading up to the games….. and Benfield stepped in to help.
Benfield Ford General Manager, Nigel Clayton, said:
Poppy and Serenity are amazing athletes and fantastic people. They wrote to us explaining how they rely on their family to help them with their costs and how they were looking for support in their bid to make the London 2012 Paralympics Team. Benfield is a family-owned business with family values at the heart of everything we do so we were delighted to help them in this small way.
Jonathan Edwards is a brand ambassador for Benfield so as a special surprise we decided to arrange for him to make the cheque presentation on our behalf and needless to say they were suitably impressed. He also gave them some expert tips which I understand they are keeping a secret.
Harrogate Paralympics hopefuls twin sisters Poppy and Serenity Howell receive a sponsorship cheque from Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan Edwards on behalf of Benfield Ford, Harrogate
Poppy is ranked 2nd in the country in both the 200 metres and 100 metres whilst Serenity is ranked 3rd in the 100 metres.
Their immediate goal is to win a place in the London 2012 Paralympics team and their trainer is Commonwealth Games and World Championships competitor Shelia Boyd who is now intensifying their training and physiotherapy sessions.
Melissa Leach, a Teaching Assistant at St Aidan’s who has worked closely with the girls over several years, said:
This is an amazing gesture by Benfield to help the Poppy and serenity with their training schedule costs. To arrange for Jonathan Edwards to present the cheque was the icing on the cake for the girls and a day they will always remember.
Jonathan even took time to sign our School visitors book which made us all feel very proud.