The cream of Cheshire East’s sporting talent was recognised last week as Olympians and Paralympians were granted the Freedom of the Borough – the highest accolade the Council can bestow upon an individual.
A special full meeting of Council was held in Congleton to formally bestow the honour on seven athletes who excelled in cycling, sailing and gymnastics.
Sarah Storey OBE, Barney Storey MBE, Niki Birrell and Craig MacLean attended the meeting to receive the honour in person. However, Beth Tweddle MBE, Ben Ainslie CBE and Victoria Pendleton MBE were unable to attend due to other commitments, but their certificates will be passed on to them.
As well as the Freedom of the Borough, the Leader of Cheshire East, Councillor Michael Jones, also confirmed that each of the athletes would have a street named after them – as a public and permanent way of marking the lifetime achievements of the seven.
Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor George Walton presented the certificates. He said: “The legislation says that Freemen should have ‘rendered eminent service’, and there is no doubt that these seven athletes have done this.
“They have not only made significant achievements in their chosen sport, but they have also contributed to the wider community and Cheshire East.”
Leader of Cheshire East Councillor Michael Jones said: “This year sport, and particularly the Olympics, has captured the nation’s hearts and it is only right that we recognise the achievements of those who have given us so much joy over the summer.
“To have seven top athletes from Cheshire East is quite remarkable and hopefully this will inspire both children and adults to take part in sport and maybe provide the Olympic and Paralympic stars of tomorrow.”