Harborough’s Olympic hero Dylan Fletcher is set to be handed the freedom of the district

A motion was put forward last night (Monday) to honour the former Robert Smyth Academy pupil

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 9:14 am
Market Harborough’s Olympic hero sailor Dylan Fletcher with his gold medal

Market Harborough’s Olympic hero sailor Dylan Fletcher is set to be handed the freedom of the district.

The 33-year-old superstar is in line to be given the very rare civic honour after striking gold with team-mate Stuart Bithell, 34, in the 49ers at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

Cllr Phil King, who heads up Harborough council, told the full council meeting last night (Monday): “Earlier this summer UK athletes had an outstanding Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo, with a record number of medals being awarded.

“One of those who was successful was a former resident of Harborough district, Mr Dylan Fletcher, who won a gold medal for sailing, class 49er.

“I would like to move that to show its support to the outstanding achievements of UK athletes, such as Mr Fletcher, who has a strong association with the Harborough district, that this council asks its officers to look at the resource implications of granting the freedom of the District to Mr Fletcher and any other relevant medal winners, from the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, who have a strong connection with the Harborough district, namely:

• were born in Harborough district

• went to school in Harborough

• lived/worked in Harborough at some time.”

The Conservative council boss said Dylan, who attended Market Harborough’s Robert Smyth Academy, had achieved “great success and been absolutely fantastic”.

“The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult and preparing yourself as an athlete at the highest level has been immensely challenging,” said Cllr King.

“This is a phenomenal achievement.

“It’s very important that we should recognise any Olympians or Paralympians who have a strong association with Harborough.”

Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads the council’s Liberal Democrat opposition, told councillors: “Athletes such as Dylan have to put in the early mornings and years and years of hard work to be so successful.

“This is an opportunity for us to recognise what they have done.

“They are brilliant role models for the next generation coming through and I am happy to second Cllr King’s motion.”

The motion to hold an extraordinary meeting of the full council before their next meeting on December 13 was backed unanimously.