Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Ennis granted freedom of Sheffield

Jessica Ennis said a 'big thank you to the people of Sheffield' after being granted the freedom of the city

Olympic hero Jessica Ennis has been officially granted the freedom of her home city.

Ennis, who won the heptathlon gold medal at London 2012 on Super Saturday, was honoured at a private ceremony in Sheffield on Wednesday night, hosted by Lord Mayor John Campbell.

She was watched by family, friends and civic dignitaries as she signed the scroll granting her the honour.

Mr Campbell said: "Becoming a freeman of Sheffield is the highest civic honour we can display and Jessica truly deserves it. Jessica is an amazing sportswoman, with incredible success and worldwide appeal.

"For this alone she is worthy of receiving the freedom of the city, but let's not forget the other things she does in Sheffield. A patron of two charities that mean so much to the people of Sheffield - the Children's Hospital and Weston Park charities. Her support helps them raise so much for their causes."

Jessica was born in Sheffield, went to school and university in the city and continues to live and train there.

Ennis, 27, said: "Winning the Olympics in Britain has exceeded everything I could have ever wished for and the reception I have received from my home city has been unbelievable.

"Being Olympic champion is the best feeling ever and as an athlete the ultimate achievement.

"I have to say a big thank you to the people of Sheffield who have believed in me and backed me over the years. To become a freeman of Sheffield is the biggest civic honour anyone can get and I'm so proud to receive it."

Ennis joins other sporting heroes including Lord Coe and Michael Vaughan as Sheffield freemen. She was greeted by thousands of people when she returned to the city after her Olympic triumph last year.

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