Corsham's medal winner
Paralympics hero Stephanie Millward returned to Corsham as the town council started planning to honour her five medal wins with a homecoming event.
Hundreds are expected to attend Monday’s celebration, – from 6pm at Springfield Leisure Centre in Beechfield Road – to pay tribute to the swimmer who won four silvers and a bronze.
She was one of Britain’s most successful athletes across this summer’s two London Games.
A former Corsham School student, Miss Millward, 30, who has multiple sclerosis, was one of 800 Paralympic and Olympic athletes who took part in a parade through London on Monday. They were cheered by about a million fans.
She said: “That was just a once-in-a-lifetime thing and the crowd were absolutely incredible, because people were hanging from anywhere they could to cheer us.”
Miss Millward, who trained in Swansea, said she was delighted to be back in Corsham and excited to meet people who had supported her throughout a career which had started at Corsham Swimming Club.
She said: “I really just can’t wait to see everyone. I’ve been asked to go to the local schools and that is something I really want to do. Hopefully, I can inspire the next generation, as I could just imagine myself being sat there as the student being spurred on to try and achieve something.”
The swimmer, due to marry fiancee Adrian McHugh next year, got lots of messages on her online social media accounts and said the support had given her a boost.
At Monday’s Corsham Town Council meeting, councillors were full of praise for her success.
Chairman Peter Anstey said: “We want to recognise her great achievements and one suggestion is offering her freedom of Corsham.”
A special meeting is expected to take place before the council’s October meeting,for members to bestow the accolade. Councillors are also considering a plaque for the town’s new campus, due to open next year, and asking her to switch on the Christmas lights.
Town clerk Dave Martin said: “The freedom of the town is very likely to happen, then we’ll sort out an event to celebrate that and we’ll also make an enquiry with Royal Mail, to see if we can have a silver post box.
“Considering she ended up with so many silvers, it would be quite nice if it could happen.”
Miss Millward said it was overwhelming hearing how eager the council was to congratulate her.
She said: “Wow, I’m speechless. That is such an incredible thing for them to do, if I get awarded freedom of the town. I’m grinning away about that and if I got a post box in silver that would cap it.”
Miss Millward will soon be moving to Combe Down, close to her new training camp in Bath.