Freedom of Corsham bestowed on town’s swimming Paralympian

Paralympian silver swimming sensation Stephanie Millward has another honour to add to her huge list of 2012 achievements after Corsham Town Council awarded her freedom of the town on Monday.

Town councillors voted unanimously in favour, at a special meeting in Corsham Town Hall, to bestow the accolade on the 31-year-old swimmer.

Miss Millward won four silver medals and a bronze at London’s Aquatics Centre during this summer’s Games.

Discussions are ongoing for a celebration ceremony to commemorate the former Corsham School pupil’s latest award.

Corsham Town Council chairman Peter Anstey said: “The town council would want the celebration to be a significant occasion which should be done with panache and style along the way.”

Miss Millward, who has multiple sclerosis, was overwhelmed by the honour.

She said: “It is absolutely fantastic. Corsham bent over backwards to support me and I’m so touched. This is such a nice way to finish off the London 2012 Games.”

Miss Millward, who trained in Swansea in preparation for the Games, returned to the South West last month.

She now lives in Combe Down with her fiance Adrian McHugh so she could be near to her new training camp in Bath where she has started training for her next event in Sheffield in November.

She said: “I’m back in this part of the world again and it is just fantastic to be home.

“Given the fact I’ve moved, have a wedding to plan for and have a book to finish writing, it’s been a busy time – but I’m really happy.

“When you win a medal you think it is not just yours but something to share with everyone and I’ve tried to visit Corsham and the surrounding area as much as possible.”

Miss Millward, who will marry Mr McHugh in Box next May, is writing a book called Paying the Price.

The book documents her being on the cusp of the Team GB squad at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and her battle to compete at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

Mr McHugh, who works for GreenSquare housing association, said: “We are very humbled that the town council has honoured Stephanie in this way.

“Her aim is to help everyone in the world and inspire people across the globe and it is great her achievements have been recognised.”

Last month, Miss Millward was welcomed back to Corsham by around 400 people at a homecoming event at Springfield Leisure Centre.

She was also named MS Inspiration of the Year at the Multiple Sclerosis Society Awards.

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