Efforts are underway to set in stone recognition of the Northern Beaches’ more recent Olympic and Paralympic legends.
The Manly Pathway of Olympians and Paralympians was first launched in July 2000 and consists of bronze plaques on the pavement along the Esplanade that lists past Olympic and Paralympic participants who have been strongly affiliated with the Manly area.
The Pathway of Olympians celebrates more than 100 years of the many Manly residents who have represented Australia in Olympic Games – both summer and winter.
Along the walkway you can observe first-hand the level of athletic prowess that has sprung from the local area.
But after a successful showing at Tokyo – with about 19 Northern Beaches athletes in attendance – Manly MP James Griffin has called for an update of the pathway. This has been regularly done after Olympic showings for the last two decades.
Mr Griffin has sought funding from his government to assist Council in getting it updated swiftly.
“Manly has a rich sporting history and it is important that we recognise these athletes and their remarkable achievements. The Olympics and Paralympics had an added layer of importance this year. The efforts of our local Olympians and Paralympians demonstrated the spirit of resilience and competition we have here on the Northern Beaches.”
However, with Manly Council now giving way to a much larger Northern Beaches Council, there is some uncertainty about who belongs on the walkway and whether it should be expanded to other parts of the Local Government Area.
Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said he has asked for a briefing on the matter and, if necessary, will bring the matter forward via a mayoral minute at the next Council meeting.
“We are lucky to live where we do, and we produce our fair share of Paralympic and Olympic athletes so why wouldn’t we want to acknowledge and celebrate them for future generations?” he said.
“The location could be Manly with the existing walkway and we add to it, or a new location could be considered. Let’s hear what the community have to say as well as staff and fellow councillors.”