The Leader of Cheshire East Council has praised the phenomenal success of local athletes competing in the Rio Paralympics and the jiu-jitsu Asian Open.
The salute from Councillor Rachel Bailey follows a clutch of eye-catching and medal-winning performances from locally-based stars on the world stage.
Record-breaking 12-times gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey, 38, from Disley, scooped her latest cycling gold in Rio in the 3,000m individual pursuit – and could yet bag further medals. Dame Sarah is Britain’s most-decorated Paralympian.
Congleton Cycle Club member Megan Giglia, who now lives in Stockport, earlier won Britain's first gold medal at the Rio Paralympics by clinching the C1-3 3,000m cycling race. She told the BBC that ‘sport gave her something to live for’ after she suffered a stroke and a brain haemorrhage three years ago, aged 27.
Sophie Thornhill, 20, from Poynton, with pilot Helen Scott, won gold in the velodrome B 1,000m time trial and then added a bronze in the B 3,000m individual pursuit.
Sophie, who won silver with Scott at the World Championships in March, said: “I can't believe it. Gold is something I've dreamt of for so long and we have it.”
Nantwich’s Andy Small, 23, last night bagged the bronze medal in the T33 100m sprint final – with Middlewich’s Daniel Bramall, 31, just two tenths of a second behind in fourth.
Meanwhile, as our Paralympians were shining brightly in Rio, Congleton’s Becky Bursnoll, 22, struck gold in Tokyo by becoming the 2016 Asian Open jiu-jitsu champion.
Cllr Bailey said: “I am sure that everyone in Cheshire East will join me in congratulating each and every one of our local athletes on their tremendous success.
“We are all very proud of what they have achieved on the world stage and these incredible results are testament to their dedication and the hard work they have put in over many, many years. I hope they really enjoy their much-deserved medals and sense of achievement!”
Councillor Paul Bates, Cabinet member for communities and health, said: “The success of all these young athletes is absolutely fantastic and truly inspirational. Every one of them is an exemplary role model for young people of all abilities. They are true stars.
“As a fellow Congletonian, I am also really pleased to see young Becky Bursnoll add the title of Asian Champion to her already fabulously-impressive CV.
“I hope the example of all these local athletes will inspire many more people to take up sport – either competitively or just for fun – so they can reap the real benefits to their health and wellbeing throughout their lives and live well for longer.”