Sports stars immortalised in steel - The Leamington Observer

Sports stars immortalised in steel

Leamington Editorial 9th Nov, 2022   0

SPORTS stars have been immortalised in steel on a Warwickshire greenway.

As part of a national campaign ‘portrait benches’ project by walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, residents were asked who they believed had made a positive impact on their local community in the last seven decades, as part of celebrations to mark the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year.

They choose Olympic middle and long-distance runner David Moorcroft and Eileen Sheridan, one of the most famous cyclists of her time, who re-wrote all 21 British women’s road records.

The figures of the two Coventry born sports stars have been placed on the ‘Lias Line’, a disused railway route which has recently been transformed into Warwickshire’s longest greenway, between Leamington and Rugby.

It consists of 4.2km off-road track for bikes, walkers and a section for horses. The £5.1millon project was funded by the Department for Transport and other partners through Sustrans ‘Paths for Everyone’ programme to enhance the National Cycle network in England.

At an unveiling ceremony, Mr Moorcroft, who is also the current Parkrun chair, said: “It’s a great honour to be part of this project and to be stood next to Eileen who was such a legend from the world of cycling in Coventry and Warwickshire. Particularly as Sustrans is so committed to promoting healthier ways of living and healthier forms of transport.”

Eileen’s daughter, Louise Sheridan, was also present at the unveiling.

She said: “Our family is very pleased and honoured that mum has been chosen by the people of Warwickshire. She has many happy memories of cycling with the Coventry Cycling Club through the lanes of Warwickshire. She thinks Sustrans and the National Cycle Network make a fantastic contribution to the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

Sustrans England regional director Clare Maltby, Sustrans England director was delighted to see the bench in place.

“We’re thrilled to see David Moorcroft and Eileen Sheridan recognised for the positive impact they’ve made to the residents of Coventry and Warwickshire.

“At Sustrans, we’re committed to ensuring that the National Cycle Network continues to enable as many people as possible to walk, wheel, cycle, and run, and as ‘Paths for Everyone’ that they celebrate our local communities, cultures, and heritage.”

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