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OLYMPIC hopeful Louise Hazel was given the Freedom of March on Monday night by the Town Council in honour of her sporting achievements.

The 25-year-old was delighted to receive the ancient honour, which historically carried some unusual privileges including being allowed to drive sheep through the town.

Louise, who travelled from her current home in Birmingham for the ceremony at the Town Hall, was accompanied by her proud mum Ann, who runs the Station Hotel in March.

March Mayor Andrew Pugh presented Louise with the scroll which bestowed the Honorary Title and made her the first individual in the Town Council’s history to be given the honour.

Councillors agreed to give Louise the honour after her fantastic victory in scooping gold at the Commonwealth Games in Dehli in October and for her multitude of other sporting achievements.

Louise spent the day in March and visited her former school the Neale-Wade Community College where she worked with 25 members of the college’s Sporting Academy.

After being presented with the scroll Louise said: “It is lovely - I don’t whether it will be put up in my house or the pub, I think my mum might have a say about that.

“It is an absolute honour to receive this award recognising my sporting talents, having grown up in March and started athletics here. I have been back to the Neale-Wade for the first time in six years today. It was great to see the same PE teachers who helped me along the way.

“I worked with students in the Sports Academy and it was great to put something back. Hopefully the school’s Sporting Academy will help our future sporting talent.”