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Thousands attend sport festival memorial event

PUBLISHED: 18:28 18 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

The Smash event at the Hewett School in Norwich. An attempt is made on the world keepy-uppy tennis record.

The Smash event at the Hewett School in Norwich. An attempt is made on the world keepy-uppy tennis record.

Thousands gathered at a festival in memory of tsunami victim Louise Willgrass to raise funds for projects to help rebuild communities in Thailand.

Louise Willgrass Tsunami Fund website

Thousands gathered at a festival in memory tsunami victim Louise Willgrass as they looked to do their bit to raise funds for projects to help rebuild communities in Thailand.

Smash 06, held at the Hewett School in Norwich, today raised thousands of pounds and it is hoped it will become an annual event.

The sport festival including American football and windsurfing demonstrations and even a world record attempt.

Funds will be added to the £600,000 already raised by the Louise Willgrass Tsunami Fund, set up following the Norwich teacher's death in the 2004 Boxing Day tragedy. The mother of three died after leaving her family to buy sun cream.

Husband Nigel Willgrass said: “To date a phenomenal amount of work has gone into the charity, raising substantial amounts of money but as time passes it is becoming increasingly difficult to raise funds.

“With work beginning this year on an orphanage in Phuket, Thailand, it is essential the charity continues to grow.

“An event like this can do a lot to help, not just in terms of raising funds but also in raising awareness.

“On a personal level it can be quite moving to come along to events like this and see so many people. It makes me realise just what a positive influence the charity can have.”

Other funds raised will go to help the development of sport in Norfolk charities.

About 500 people took part in a world record attempt to be the largest number of people to bounce a tennis ball simultaneously and, although this is still awaiting verification, it is thought this beats the number of people previously gathered for such an attempt by two.

Organiser Lyndon Green said: “The day was a real success. We were very pleased with the turn out and absolutely everybody who came along seemed to be having a good time.

“We will look to arrange another one next year so we can really do our bit to help out this excellent charity.”

One of the most popular attractions on the day was a temporary skateboarding park. Pro-skaters were on hand to show off his skills.

Upcoming events in aid of the Louise Willgrass Tsunami fund include a summer ball at the Royal Norfolk Showground on July 1 and a golf day at Eaton Golf Club on August 23.

Louise Willgrass Tsunami Fund website


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