Olympic gold medallist Hollie Webb MBE was awarded a new accolade this week – Freewoman of the Borough of Amber Valley.
Following her victory with the GB ladies hockey team at Rio 2016, the council set about the task of making sure Hollie received local recognition for her part in the win.
The title of Freewoman of the Borough of Amber Valley has only been awarded to five other residents since 2001. It is reserved for people of distinction who have, in the opinion of the council, provided eminent services to the borough.
Hollie said: “It is a huge honour to be awarded freedom of the Borough from Amber Valley. I am extremely proud to be from the borough and represent my country at the highest level. I would like to thank everybody for their support over the years and I hope to continue to put Belper and our region on the sporting map, while continuing my journey with the GB Hockey squad in our continued hunt for medal success.”
A former pupil at Ecclesbourne School, Hollie began her hockey career at the age of seven with Belper Hockey Club after they advertised their Sunday morning junior sessions at the local primary schools. She made her England debut against South Africa in Cape Town in 2013, just before finishing her degree in economics from the University of Sheffield.
Amber Valley Borough Council leader Councillor Kevin Buttery, said: “Hollie has contributed so much to the sporting scene in the borough, and is an inspiration to our young hockey players.
“Her performances in the summer helped lift the sport to new heights in this country, and we are all proud and delighted she is ‘one of our own’.”
Hollie was also awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours and is currently Derbyshire Sportswoman of the Year.