A dedicated sprinter who represented Team Great Britain at four Olympic Games and now works to help improve equality in athletics is being given the Freedom of Croydon Borough.
Donna Fraser grew up in Thornton Heath with her three older sisters and attended Winterbourne Junior Girls School, St Mary’s Catholic High School and Croydon College.
She was recruited by the Croydon Harriers Athletics Club while competing for Winterbourne at the Croydon Schools Athletics Championships and continued to race for them until she officially retired in 2009.Donna won gold at six consecutive English Schools Athletics Championship titles from 1986-1991, each time representing Surrey.
The 45-year-old held the position of President of the South of England Athletics Association from 2013-2015 and is an ambassador for Breast Cancer Now after being diagnosed with the illness in 2009.
She continues to stay in touch with Croydon Harriers and aims to support grassroots athletics as much as possible. Donna is also a Trustee for the London Marathon Charitable Trust and the Women’s Sport Trust.
Donna said: “I am truly honoured to be given the Freedom of Croydon Borough, my family will be so proud.
“I am a Croydon girl through and through and will continue to give back to the community who supported me as an athlete, especially helping the young people of Croydon to aspire to do great things on and off the track.”
Among many Commonwealth, World and European medals, Donna’s most notable moments were coming fourth in the 400m race at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and winning gold in the European Junior Championship in Greece in 1991.
She is now the Vice President and the Equality, Diversity and Engagement Lead for UK Athletics.
The Freedom of the Borough is the highest award Croydon Council can give. Donna will be presented with the award alongside former England manager Roy Hodgson in December.
Croydon council leader Cllr Tony Newman said: “Donna’s record competing at the highest level across the globe speaks for itself but since retiring she has excelled as an ambassador for athletics and Croydon.
“Working with sports clubs, schools and other groups in her home borough and across the entire country she has championed diversity and inclusion in athletics and made a real impact on the communities she visits.
“I’m proud to announce she will be given the Freedom of the Borough as a token for her hard work over the years.” (Source: Croydon council press release)