Doncaster’s Olympic taekwondo star Sarah Stevenson MBE has earned another honour – the Freedom of the Borough.
The rare accolade is the highest honour that a local resident can receive and recognises Sarah’s sporting achievements and work in the Doncaster community.
Sarah, 30, brought up in Bentley, will become the 12th Doncastrian to receive the accolade at an informal ceremony at the town’s Mansion House.
She said: “It is one of those achievements that is right up there with other achievements in my life and I am very proud. I am really honoured that I have been chosen to receive this as being born and raised in Doncaster has made me who I am. The coaching and experience I gained in the town and was instilled in me was instrumental to what I went on to do.”
She is arguably the most successful GB Taekwondo athlete in history, becoming Junior World Champion in 1998 at the age of 13 and two years later became Senior World Champion. Sarah repeated this victory in 2005 and 2011 and has been Junior and Senior European Champion for over a decade.
At the age of 17, Sarah was the first female to represent the Great Britain Taekwondo Team at the Olympic Games in Sydney and went on to compete at Athens and Beijing, where she won a bronze medal.
Despite a debilitating knee injury and the sad loss of both parents in 2011, she led the GB Taekwondo Team at the London 2012 Olympics. Sarah’s career was acknowledged with the honour of being chosen to recite the Athletes’ Oath at the Opening Ceremony. She was also awarded the MBE during 2012.