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Freedom of Borough for the north coast's Olympic medallists

By Nevin Farrell

Published 11/11/2016

Olympians Richard and Peter Chambers and Alan Campbell (centre)
Olympians Richard and Peter Chambers and Alan Campbell (centre)

Three Olympic medal-winning rowers from Northern Ireland have received the Freedom of the Borough in their hometown.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council last night agreed unanimously that the three rowers - Alan Campbell (33) and brothers Richard Chambers (31) and Peter Chambers (26) - should be given the highest honour that can be bestowed by the authority.

Following last night's meeting, Ulster Unionist Councillor William McCandless - who made the proposal - said the Olympians had brought fame to Coleraine with their exploits on the world stage.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, the councillor added: "I'm delighted that everyone present at the meeting agreed with the proposal to grant the rowers the Freedom of the Borough.

"It just goes to show how sport can be a great unifier.

"Our Olympic oarsmen, Alan Campbell, Richard Chambers and Peter Chambers, all former pupils of CAI (Coleraine Academical Institution) and Bann Rowing Club members, have honoured this borough and particularly the town of Coleraine.

"It is fitting that we honour them with the Freedom of the Borough"

Mr McCandless said Alan Campbell was the first sportsperson from Northern Ireland to have competed at four Olympic Games.

He added that Richard Chambers had competed in three Olympics and Peter in two.

"Alan was GB's first single scull rower to win an Olympic medal for 84 years when he lifted the bronze in 2012. Richard and Peter lifted the silver in 2012 as part of the lightweight men's four," he said.

"We can be justifiably proud of these young men. They are people of distinction and great ambassadors for the borough.

"They narrowly missed out on medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and I had great pleasure in nominating them for the Freedom of the Borough."

The recommendation to grant the Freedom of the Borough now goes to the Mayor, who will decide what form the conferral of the honour will take.

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