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Seven outstanding individuals inducted into Swim England Hall of Fame

Seven individuals have become the latest inductees into the Swim England Hall of Fame after their careers have left an outstanding impact on aquatics.

Rebecca Adlington, Mike Beard, Terry Denison, Anita Lonsbrough, Tim Reddish, Ellie Simmonds and Leon Taylor were all inducted at Swim England’s National Awards ceremony held at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall.

The Hall of Fame was set-up in 2019 to mark Swim England’s 150th anniversary and included 26 people in it’s initial induction.

Amongst the initial inductees were Steve Parry, Duncan Goodhew and Sharron Davies as well as a number of pioneers throughout the history of aquatics.

Last year, artistic swimming stalwart Dawn Zajac and international swimmers Mark Foster and Karen Pickering became the first new cohorts before our class of 2023 joined the illustrious list on Saturday 18 November.

You can find out more about our latest inductees below.

Images: Will Johnston Photography

Rebecca Adlington

Record-breaking Rebecca Adlington is Britain’s most successful female Olympian of all time in the pool having won a total of four individual medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.

Adlington won a total of 17 major championship medals during her glittering career, including four at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games representing England before she retired from competitive swimming at the age of 23.

In 2008, she was named as the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and placed third in the Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Adlington was appointed OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list for services to sport.

Mike Beard

Dedicated volunteer Mike Beard has played key roles in both swimming and water polo at Stourbridge and Solihull swimming clubs.

He has been a player, coach and an official – as well as holding key positions on the committee, including publicity officer, treasurer and chair.

Mike was voted onto the Midlands committee and became treasurer in 1977 – a position he still currently holds for the West Midlands region.

In 1989, he was named the Midlands District President and became the ASA President in 2000.

Mike has been a trustee for the national governing body since 1984 and in 2009, he received the Harold Fern Award.

He was also awarded the BEM for his services to swimming in 2016.

Terry Denison

Terry Denison is one of Great Britain’s most successful swimming coaches.

He was the chief coach at City of Leeds SC, turning them into one of the country’s most decorated clubs as they were crowned national champions 15 times.

His swimmers have won nearly 50 national championships with 98 of them gaining international honours at either junior or senior level.

Denison coached at six Olympic Games, two World Championships, four Commonwealth Games and seven European Championships.

He was voted Coach of the Year by the British Swimming Coaches Association 10 times and, in 1989, was awarded an MBE for services to swimming.

Anita Lonsbrough

Anita Lonsbrough was a pioneer for women’s swimming – achieving a number of notable firsts during a dominant six years at the very top of her sport.

At the 1960 Olympic Games, Lonsbrough triumphed in the 200m Breaststroke, clocking a new world record time of 2:49.50.

In total, she won 12 international medals between 1958 and 1962 and had the honour of holding the Olympic, Empire and European titles at the same time.

In 1962, she became the first female athlete to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

She was also the first female to have the honour of being flag bearer for the British team at the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964.

Tim Reddish

 Tim Reddish has made an outstanding contribution to para-swimming, both as an athlete, coach and administrator.

He won 25 medals during a 13-year career in the pool – five of these at the 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games.

He started working for British Swimming in 1998, becoming the national performance director and eventually executive director for para-swimming.

Following the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, Reddish became chairman of the British Paralympic Association, a role he held until 2017, and was also a board member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He has been appointed a MBE, OBE and CBE for his services to swimming and disability sport.

Ellie Simmonds

Five-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds came to national attention when she competed in the 2008 Beijing Games at the age of 13.

She won the first of her eight Paralympic medals in China, where she was the youngest British athlete, topping the podium in both the S6 100m and 400m Freestyle races.

Further success followed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games before Simmonds called time on her competitive career following the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

In addition to her Paralympic glory, Simmonds also won 21 gold medals at World and European Championships and picked up 10 other podium places – and was appointed an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list for services to Paralympic sport.

Leon Taylor

 Leon Taylor enjoyed sustained success as a competitive diver at the highest level for two decades.

He competed at the 1996 Atlanta, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games – and the pinnacle of his career came in Greece, where, alongside partner Peter Waterfield, he won silver in the Men’s 10m Synchro.

Podium places were also secured in the 10m Platform as Taylor represented England in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games – while he also won European and World Championships medals.

A legacy from his career was the 1998 invention of the ‘world’s most difficult dive’ – the 5255b back two-and-a-half somersaults, two-and-a-half twists.