St Albans mum wins £10,000 for school sports facilities

PUBLISHED: 11:41 03 June 2011

Left to right deputy head Martin Atkinson, parent of school who entered the competition Mrs Sonia McDonnell with daughter Antonia and representative for United Biscuits Patrick Ockendon.

Left to right deputy head Martin Atkinson, parent of school who entered the competition Mrs Sonia McDonnell with daughter Antonia and representative for United Biscuits Patrick Ockendon.

Archant

It’s time for games as St Albans school celebrates opening of new outdoor gym

WHEN it comes to winning competitions, a St Albans baker really takes the cake.

Sonia McDonnell, who runs cake company Crumbs’n’All, said she “screamed with surprise” upon learning that she had won £10,000 towards a school sports facility. Last Wednesday she attended the official opening of an outdoor gym named in her honour at Beaumont School, which her Year 10 daughter Antonia attends, on Oakwood Drive.

Sonia explained that she had been at Morrisons supermarket in Fleetville buying digestive biscuits to bake a lemon cheesecake when she noticed the £10,000 school sports giveaway.

United Biscuits was running the promotion in conjunction with the supermarket during the World Cup and was giving away three £10,000 cash prizes nationally towards school sporting facilities.

She won with her slogan: “After taxing our brains, it’s time for games.”

Sonia said: “When you enter competitions, you don’t think you are going to win, so when I got the letter, I screamed with surprise.”

The school was also pleased at the windfall and held an opening celebration for the new gym, the building of which was made possible through both the £10,000 sports giveaway and fundraising efforts of the Beaumont School Association.

Sonia added that as she hadn’t received the money personally, “I haven’t missed it.”

Beaumont headteacher, Elizabeth Hitch, said: “When Mrs McDonnell first telephoned to alert us to the possibility of £10,000 for the school, I was surprised and delighted.

“This is quite a windfall for the school and I was so pleased that Mrs McDonnell’s idea of the external gym has come to fruition. We wanted it to be something that could be used by everybody in the school and this idea is perfect for use both in and out of lessons.”

‘The McDonnell Gym’ will be used by both students and school staff.

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