Rebecca Redfern Manchester 2023

Redfern and McNulty named MBEs on King's Birthday Honours List

14 Jun 2024

Paralympic medallist Rebecca Redfern and Olympic gold-medal-winning coach David McNulty have been awarded MBEs in the King's Birthday Honours List. 

Redfern - who won Women's SB13 100m Breaststroke silver at both the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - is named MBE for services to young people and the community in Worcestershire, while McNulty is awarded his for services to swimming, one month before his fourth Olympic Games as Head Coach of the Aquatics GB Performance Centre Bath.

Rebecca has enjoyed podium success at all senior levels for Aquatics GB. On top of her double Paralympic silvers, she has twice become world champion in the SB13 100m Breaststroke on home soil - in London in 2019 and then last year in Manchester - with a silver in the same event at the European Championships in 2016.

On top of that silverware, though, the 24-year-old has been making a huge impact with the next generation in and around her Worcestershire community. As well as training in primary education and spending time teaching in a school in Droitwich around her training as an elite athlete, Rebecca - who was diagnosed aged seven with the visual impairment Retinitis Pigmentosa - has visited countless schools throughout Worcestershire, speaking to children about how to overcome obstacles to achieve success.

Speaking on her MBE award and why the work she has done in her community means so much to her, 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."

Rebecca Redfern MBE photo School Games
Rebecca Redfern

Shortly before Rebecca's second Paralympic silver moment in Tokyo in August 2021, David McNulty was returning from the Olympic Games in Japan after seeing three of his athletes accrue an incredible six medals between them in the pool.

That included a historic Men's 200m Freestyle title for Tom Dean, Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay golds for Dean and James Guy - alongside Duncan Scott, Matt Richards and Calum Jarvis - a world record and Olympic title in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay final for Guy, with Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty and Anna Hopkin, plus an Olympic gold for Freya Anderson after her strong work in the heats of that relay event.

McNulty - who had previously coached swimmers to Olympic medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016 from the Bath Performance Centre - went on to become Team GB's overall Coach of the Year later in 2021, and after more success for his swimmers at world and European level in the past two years, he is now gearing up for another Games on the Team GB coaching staff in Paris, his sixth in total.

"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," said McNulty.

"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."

David McNulty Team GB Ball Awards [SamMellish Team GB]
David McNulty after being named Team GB's Coach of the Year in 2021

Aquatics GB CEO Drew Barrand said: "Everyone at Aquatics GB is delighted to see Rebecca and David included on the King’s Birthday Honours List – fully deserved recognition for the impact they have made and continue to make both in and out of the water.

"Rebecca’s medal-winning performances at Paralympic Games and World Championships are one incredible way to inspire children and young people, but her engagement with hundreds of schoolchildren across the community of Worcestershire has allowed those people the priceless chance to hear about how an elite athlete shows resilience and overcomes all manner of challenges to achieve success, lessons that they can take with them into all walks of life. We know that her role in education in the area is an ongoing one and continue to be fully supportive of the difference she is making.

"David, meanwhile, continues to play a pivotal role on the ongoing success of our Aquatics GB swimming teams at the highest level. He is gearing up for his fourth Olympic Games as Head Coach of the Aquatics GB Performance Centre in Bath – having seen his athletes win medals in Tokyo, Rio, London and Beijing at the past four Games – and he has overseen countless other triumphs for his swimmers at World Championships and European Championships in intervening years, becoming an absolute mainstay of our international coaching setups.

"I’d also like to congratulate all other members of our aquatics family who have been recognised in today’s list."

The King's Birthday Honours List 2024 also sees Lewes-based Audrey Taylor recognised as a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to amateur swimming in East Sussex, while technical official Tony Ward has been given the same award for services to swimming and para-swimming.

Delivering an impact beyond her career in the pool, Amy Marren - ParalympicsGB Paralympic Bronze medallist at Rio 2016 - is also the recipient of an MBE for Services to Further Education and Apprenticeships.

"I’m really not sure what could top this feeling. This recognition truly belongs to the many amazing individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside during my apprenticeships." said Marren on her Instagram,

"May we continue to make a positive impact, and keep building towards a bright future of education."

Full details of the King's Birthday Honours List 2024 can be found here.