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City freedom and honorary degree for Andy Murray

SCOTTISH tennis ace Andy Murray will return to his roots today to add two civic honours to his list of achievements.

The British number one will be granted the Freedom of the City of Stirling in front of an audience of pupils at Dunblane High School, and will also receive an honorary degree from the University of Stirling.

Murray attended the school before moving to Spain when he was 15, and also honed his skills on the university's courts when he was a youngster.

The Wimbledon champion, who will also take part in a question-and-answer session with the school's pupils, said he was excited to be coming home to receive the awards and that he was looking forward to sharing his experiences with the youngsters.

He said: "I'm thrilled to be coming home and am really looking forward to meeting the young people of Dunblane and Stirling. I'm proud to be receiving the Freedom of the City and want to share that experience with as many people as possible and across many of the schools in the area."

Pupils will welcome Andy at Dunblane High School before the ceremony, which will be streamed live to Dunblane primary schools and an audience of 200 members of the public in Victoria Hall.

Stirling's Provost Mike Robbins said: "Andy is an inspirational figure who is at the top of his game — it's no surprise there's so much interest in him, and this very special event."

Council Leader Johanna Boyd added: "Physical activity fosters young people's, physical, social and emotional well-being. But taking part in sport also promotes self-esteem and team building. Attributes that reach beyond the impact on physical health.

"We are promoting that in our schools and investing in facilities that will raise the profile of Stirling as a City of Sport."

The graduation ceremony at Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence will take place later in the afternoon and will bring Murray to the training base where he honed his skills as a young boy.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, will present the award of Doctor of the University. He said: "One of the greatest athletes of his generation, Andy has broken the boundaries of British tennis and elevated the profile of the sport to new levels.

"His exceptional sporting abilities, diligence and tenacity make him an inspirational role model to our students and to people across the world.

"The success of so many current and former students is proof of the winning combination of sport and study."

He added: "We are grateful to Andy for his continued support of the university and honoured to recognise his extraordinary talent and contribution to tennis by conferring him with this award."

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