Harrow Way’s Silver Ambassadors, Alice Longshaw and Jonathan Akehurst, set off Monday morning with School Sport Coordinator, Rhonda Sturges, for the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. The reason? To help Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic gold medallist, in hosting a gala fundraising ball to support England’s Commonwealth Games team who will be travelling to Delhi in October. The event was hosted by world record triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and swimmer Karen Pickering. Gail Emms, a former badminton player, was also there along with many Commonwealth athletes.
Arriving at the hotel, Alice and Jon quickly got to know the eight Mountbatten Ambassadors. They were then allocated roles for the evening before getting a chance to support the setting up of the Great Room.
Alice volunteered to be on the V.I.P. reception and was able to meet ALL the famous people on arrival: ‘I just met Kelly Holmes and shook her hand!’.
John was responsible for the tombola (Â£5 for one ticket!) as well as collecting prizes from the V.I.P. reception.
Once all the guests were seated we were all able to listen to Jonathan Edwards and Karen Pickering, watch an Indian dance and greet many of the athletes who will be competing in Delhi. This included Zoe Smith, the amazing 16 year old weight lifter.
An Indian dinner followed (we ate the same as the guests with their Â£200 tickets!) during which great excitement ensued with the arrival of Gabriella Cilmi! A photo was essential!
Back to work following the dinner with the auction. Jon was up on stage holding items to be sold and Alice got herself a job as a ‘Spotter’. Then all eyes were on Gabriella!
11pm quickly arrived and although the ball was still in full swing sadly we had to leave. All the students were buzzing from their great day meeting sporting greats and being part of a huge event. An amazing experience not to be forgotten!