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Rebecca Redfern on winning Paralympic silver just over a year after giving birth

Rebecca Redfern tells the story of how she clinched Paralympic silver not long after the birth of her son, and shares a message to club swimmers.

Worcester Swimming Club’s Redfern retained her Paralympic silver at the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Games.

She first got her hands on the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after finishing second in the Women’s SB13 100m Breaststroke.

After giving birth to her son, Patrick, around 12 months before the Games in Tokyo, Redfern wasn’t expecting to be defending her place on the podium.

However, it was a ‘dream come true’ for the Droitwich-born para-swimmer as she set a time of 1:14.10 to win back-to-back silvers.

On the experience, Redfern said: “It was bizarre and it was just over a year after I had given birth as well, so it was quite a surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting to be there [in Tokyo]. We’d been through Covid so we hired a hot tub in the garden and that’s where I’d been training.

It was an unreal moment.

“I just cried when I found out the result. I was just really emotional. It was a really hard three weeks away from home and I had to leave Patrick.

“He was too young to understand how FaceTime works, so I didn’t really get to speak to him much either. It was just really emotional and I think there was so many feelings.

“I was trying not to put any pressure on myself. It was amazing just to have gone, to have been part of the team and I kept thinking that no matter what happens in the race, I have done myself proud and I’ve done my family proud.

“But to come back with a medal was just incredible and unexpected.”

Redfern says she ‘couldn’t have done it’ without her coach, Mark Stowe, who is the head coach at Worcester SC.

In a message to all club swimmers, the double Paralympic medallist said: “I couldn’t have done what I did without my coach and I had to put a lot of trust and faith into Mark.

“I think that’s the main message. Just trust what your coach is doing because they know what’s right for you.

“And also to have fun, because if I didn’t find it fun then I wouldn’t have gone to training, I wouldn’t have competed and I wouldn’t be where I am if it’s wasn’t fun.”

Looking ahead to Paris 2024, Redfern hopes to make it a hat-trick of medals, but this time she wants to go one better.

She added: “My next main goal is the Paris Paralympics. My main focus is definitely on going and hopefully upgrading my medal.”