Olympian Keely Hodgkinson hopes to inspire others after being honoured on Wigan borough Walk of Fame

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An Olympic hero who is already a star on the running track has been honoured with a star on a Wigan borough Walk of Fame.

Athlete Keely Hodgkinson is the latest recipient of a Believe Star, recognising her amazing sporting achievements on the global stage.

The 800m specialist, who was born in Atherton and runs for Leigh Harriers, has placed Wigan borough on the map in recent years, having secured medals at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European competitions.

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Keely Hodgkinson with family and friendsKeely Hodgkinson with family and friends
Keely Hodgkinson with family and friends

She was delighted to see her Believe Star unveiled outside Leigh Town Hall on Thursday.

Keely said: "I feel very honoured to be recognised for my hard work and achievements, especially as it's in my local borough.

“To have a star in the ground, that might remain for a long time to come, is absolutely amazing and hopefully it could help inspire other young people to believe they can get one too."

The star was laid in a ceremony attended by Keely’s family and friends and council representatives.

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Keely Hodgkinson's Walk of Fame starKeely Hodgkinson's Walk of Fame star
Keely Hodgkinson's Walk of Fame star

It sits alongside a star for Keely’s coaches Joe and Margaret Galvin, who received the accolade last year in honour of their decades of service at Leigh Harriers. Sadly, Joe died in March.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Keely has amassed an astonishing career record to date.

“It has all been achieved through hard work and dedication, making her an inspirational role model for our proud borough.

“We feel so lucky to have been able to witness Keely’s success and to have made a small contribution to her journey through our Believe Talent Fund and we’d like to congratulate this amazing athlete on receiving a coveted Believe Star.”

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Keely Hodgkinson (centre) with Jenny Meadows and Trevor PainterKeely Hodgkinson (centre) with Jenny Meadows and Trevor Painter
Keely Hodgkinson (centre) with Jenny Meadows and Trevor Painter

At the delayed 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Keely broke Kelly Holmes’ 26-year-old British record, scooping a silver medal in the process.

In 2022, she struck gold at the European Athletics Championships.

On International Women’s Day this year, footballer Ella Toone was announced alongside Keely as the latest household name to receive a star, with a ceremony scheduled to take place later this year.

Previous recipients of the star include fellow sporting icons John Woods and Alex Murphy, plus community workers including Pam Gilligan from Compassion in Action.