Chron readers invited to help decide how Northampton honours Paralympic champion Ellie Robinson
Readers of the Chronicle & Echo have beenÂ invited by the borough council leader to help decide how Northampton officially honours its golden schoolgirl Ellie Robinson.
The 15-year-old Paralympic swimming champ is due back from Brazil within days, but Northampton Borough Council is still considering how her achievements of one gold medal and one bronze can be publicly recognised.
The Chron, keen to ensure the Northampton High School pupil gets the welcome home she deserves, has made its own suggestions to the council, but leader Councillor Mary Markham wants to open the decision up to Northamptonians.
Councillor Markham said: “What Ellie achieved was absolutely outstanding and, personally, watching it made me go tingly.
“We’d love your readers to come up with some ideas and, if they’re inspirational enough, there’s every chance we will put one into action.
“We will be inviting Ellie to the mayor’s parlour and will propose a motion of congratulations, but if people think we can do more then let us know.”
Northampton’s sporting heroes are traditionally honoured with an open-top bus parade, something which has been used to celebrate The Saints’ Aviva Premiership-winning squad, the Cobblers’ League Two champions and the Steelbacks players who triumphed in this year’s T20 Blast final.
But there are also ways to permanently salute sporting triumphs.
The Royal Mail painted a post box gold for every Team GB Olympic and Paralympic gold medalist from London 2012.
However, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed it would not honour Ellie in the same way in Northampton, stressing the London games were a one-off.
A spokeswoman said: “This year, Brazil, as the host nation of Rio 2016, has the honour of celebrating the Games in its own way.”
The Chron approached BT to ask if it would be prepared to paint one of its red town centre phone boxes gold instead.
But the company said was not something it could do “overnight” and referred the paper to Northampton Borough Council, who have adopted all five traditional iron kiosks situated in Guildhall Road and Wood Hill.
However, Councillor Markham said she was concerned about altering any of the iconic landmarks, which are hugely popular with tourists as a backdrop for souvenir snaps of the town.
Can you suggest the perfect way for Northampton to honour its Paralympic champion? Email [email protected] or write to us at Albert House, Victoria Street. Northampton NN1 3NR.