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Para-swimmer Rebecca Redfern and GB coach David McNulty awarded MBEs

Paris-bound para-swimmer Rebecca Redfern and award-winning coach David McNulty have been awarded MBEs in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

Worcester Swimming Club’s Redfern, who will be competing in this summer’s Paralympics having won two silver medals at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games, received her accolade for services to young people and to the community in Worcestershire.

The 24-year-old was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa aged seven and has visited hundreds of schools throughout Worcestershire speaking to children about overcoming obstacles to achieve success.

Redfern said: “I’m really proud – it’s not something I was aiming for.

“I visit schools and talk to children because it’s what I love to do, so to be acknowledged for it is really exciting and it just makes me want to do even more.

“If I can inspire just one child with my story then that just gives me such a warm feeling.

“Growing up as a young visually impaired girl, if I had had that one role model that I could look up to and hear that just because I have a disability, life can still be absolutely amazing, then that would have changed my life.

“So if I can be that person for someone, then that is amazing.

“This award is one we’ve celebrated as a big team, my family, my coach – it’s one we all feel a part of, so even though it’s my name on the Honours list, it’s really the whole team behind us and we all celebrated it together.”

Award ‘means so much’ to GB coach McNulty

For Bath Performance Centre coach McNulty, the award ‘means so much’.

He has seen several of his swimmers pick up international medals at European, World and Olympic competitions.

McNulty who was named Team GB coach of the year in 2021, has been part of the coaching team at the last three Olympics and will be heading to Paris for the 2024 Games.

He said: “During my time as head coach of the Aquatics GB Performance Centre in Bath, we’ve done three Olympics, 2012, 2016 and 2021, and over that time, my swimmers have won 11 Olympic medals and I’ve been absolutely over the moon.

“There was one in 2012, four in 2016 and six medals in 2021, and then a big highlight afterwards of winning the Team GB Coach of the Year in 2021 – that absolutely blew me away.

“Normally it’s about making the swimmers’ dreams come true, as a coach, and this is time for me to reflect on what I’ve done personally.

“I’m over the moon with the Olympic record in that time I’ve been here at the Aquatics GB Bath Performance Centre, and this award means so much.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of that journey along the way – all the great athletes, all the great staff, and I thank Aquatics GB as well. I’m absolutely over the moon with this recognition.”

Swimming coach Dave McNulty talking to Andrew Willis