Since being elected MP for Ynys Môn Virginia Crosbie has worked hard to reach out to the many inspiring people working every day to make the island a better place. So many of these people do so expecting no recognition for their accomplishments, but nevertheless, Ms Crosbie wanted to shine a spotlight on them and their organisations, to reward them and inspire others to do similarly. This became her Hidden Hero campaign which has now been running for nearly a year.
January’s Hidden Hero is Raymond Williams who runs the Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre. After leaving the army having served for 24 years, Ray was chosen to be the National Weightlifting Coach for Wales. In this role he has mentored and coached countless individuals, culminating in two Commonwealth Games gold medals for his team.
Raymond’s gym is also a testament to his hard work; prior to him becoming the Welsh coach, weightlifters on Anglesey were training in a converted garage. However, after working hard to secure funding, Ray was able to oversee the construction of his gym. The Gym now serves the community and nation’s weightlifters who all benefit from Ray’s perseverance.
After hearing about his award, Ray commented “I strive to make our community of Anglesey fitter and healthier, this has been my driving force in setting up the Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Social Enterprise. The struggle to secure the grant was challenging, however with over 21,000 visits annually to our small facility it has been proven a sound investment. A fitter community is a happier community. Fitness may not add years to one’s life, but it certainly adds life to one’s years”.
David Rowlands, who nominated Ray said “Since leaving the army, Ray has worked tirelessly to advance the careers and lives of so many in Anglesey and Wales. Anyone is welcome in his gym irrespective of age/gender/ability to take up the sport or just improve their fitness. The whole of Anglesey, if not Wales, would have wanted to nominate him.”