Nelson Lindsay recognised on Queen's Honours List

15 Oct 2020

Nelson Lindsay, the coach who has helped guide Bethany Firth to a quartet of Paralympic gold medals, has had his achievements recognised by being named on the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Nelson's work - which earned him a spot on the UK Coaching High Performance Coach of the Year shortlist in 2019 - will see him receive an MBE. 

Under the Northern Irishman's tutelage, Firth has won medals in every Paralympic event she has entered, while last year brought her two golds and two silvers at the World Para-Swimming Championships in London, including titles in the Women's S14 100m Backstroke and Mixed S14 4x100m Freestyle Relay categories. In 2018, she clinched four European golds. 

Despite Firth's successes over the years, news of the MBE for coach Lindsay still came as a shock to the man himself - although it is an honour he wishes to share with many others from the swimming community. 

"It was quite a surprise when I received the email about the MBE. It is very flattering, but I am sure the sport is full of many people who deserve it more!" he said.

"I hope to some extent that it reflects recognition of the army of people, either as volunteers or with part-time remuneration, who give so much time to this sport that we love."

Nelson Lindsay Bethany Firth
Nelson Lindsay (left) with Bethany Firth

Among those to pay tribute to Nelson on the news was Bethany herself.

"Nelson truly deserves this. He has worked so hard, learning new ways to coach me that allow me to remember and understand new things even more effectively. More so, he has changed swimming in Northern Ireland for so many swimmers,” said the two-time Paralympian. 

British Para-Swimming Performance Director Chris Furber added: "Seeing Nelson included on the Queen's Birthday Honours List was fantastic, and it is testament to the time, passion and expertise he has put in to coaching the likes of Bethany Firth to such great success. 

"He has played a key role in the career of one of our most successful modern para-swimmers. We all at British Para-Swimming hope he has a memorable day when he gets the chance to receive the MBE in the future."