Marshall receives BT Sport Action Woman Lifetime Achievement award

10 Dec 2019

Mel Marshall added further accolade to a standout year in which she has also been named British Swimming Coach of the year and UK Coaching’s High Performance Coach of the Year.

Photo: BT Sport

Former British swimmer Mel Marshall received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BT Sport Studios in London on Monday night as she was recognised for her commitment to coaching and her achievements in swimming - adding to her recent acknowledgement at the UK Coaching and British Swimming awards.

After winning numerous medals, including six at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Marshall traded her swimming cap for a coaching hat and started working with a young swimmer by the name of Adam Peaty – and the pair became unstoppable, winning 16 European Golds, 8 World Championship Golds, 2 World Records and an Olympic title. Mel has also worked with many others and oversaw the success of Luke Greenbank's breakthrough individual bronze and GB Men’s 4 x 100m medley relay team gold at the 2019 World Championships.

Speaking to Clare Balding and on stage as she collected the award, Mel said:

“It’s an incredible honour. In sport, you can spend a lot of days in the dark for a few really special days in the light and today is one of those days in the light, so it’s a real honour."

Adding on the relationship with her athletes:

“I say it’s like climbing Everest. Some days you need an oxygen mask, some days you need a tent, some days you need a support and some days you just need someone to listen to you. 

We work through those challenges every day and I’m incredibly lucky. When I left swimming in 2008, I wanted to work at the highest level with the best possible athletes. I really get to live my dream every day and they are a true privilege. They have their moments, don’t get me wrong, but most of the time we’re all striving to the same thing and that’s a really special place to work.”

Watch Mel's acceptance speech on twitter here.

Below Luke Greenbanks sends a video of thanks to his coach Mel Marshall as she is awarded the BT Sport Action Woman Lifetime Achievement Award