Key to the borough for para-triathletes

Two para-triathletes from Heanor are set to receive the highest honour Amber Valley Borough Council can bestow on its citizens.

Councillors voted last night on whether to make Phil Hogg and Dave Ellis Honorary Freeman of the Borough.

A council report summarised the pair’s many achievements and paid tribute to their talent and determination. It said: “Phil is a fantastic role model for disabilities in sport and such an inspiring character. His contribution to sport disability speaks for itself through Phil’s performances to date and his belief that anyone, whatever their background, as long as they do the best they can, can compete and succeed in sport... David has had a fantastic year competing in para triathlon with great results and success. He initially started out as a swimmer, but took a keen interest in triathlon and was then accepted onto England’s Talent Squad in April.”

This year partially sighted Dave took gold at the European Championships, achieving the fastest time of any para-athlete in the sprint distance. Phil scooped gold medal wins in the British Para-triathlon Championships in Liverpool and the European Championships in Turkey.

If the award gets the green light Phil and Dave will join a select group of recipients. Dame Ellen MacArthur received the first such award in 2001, Ross Davenport was honoured in 2007 along with Miles Hilton-Barber, the first blind person to fly a microlight from Britain to Australia.