Tom Dean Named Champion Athlete At British Swimming Awards; David McNulty Recognised For Coaching Success

fina-DEAN Tom GBR Men's 400m Freestyle Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 16/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Tom Dean: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Tom Dean Named Champion Athlete At British Swimming Awards; David McNulty Recognised For Coaching Success

Tom Dean has been named British Swimming’s Champion Athlete for 2021-22 at British Swimming: The Awards.

The double Olympic champion and triple 2022 World Championship medallist Dean – who was crowned Outstanding Swimmer of 2021-22 earlier in the evening – was joined on stage by the other sport’s Outstanding Athletes before being presented the inaugural Maurice Watkins Champion Athlete prize, with the trophy named after the former British Swimming chair who died in 2021.

David McNulty won the Olympic coaching award after his swimmers brought seven golds back to Bath from Tokyo while Robin Armayan – the coach of Reece Dunn, Paralympics GB’s most-decorated athlete with three golds and five medals overall in Tokyo – took home the para-swimming category.

Katie Shanahan was the winner of the Emerging Swimmer trophy following a medal-laden couple of years during which she has won junior and senior European medals as well as propelling herself on to the Commonwealth podium.

David McNulty

David McNulty: Photo Courtesy: Team GB

Tom Daley’s maiden Olympic title alongside Matty Lee, as well as an individual 10m Platform bronze, saw him claim the Outstanding Diver accolade.

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, whose brilliant two seasons – which included a pair of European golds, two Commonwealth crowns, a World Championship bronze and a top-eight finish at her debut Olympics – were rewarded with the prize for Diving Emerging Athlete of 2021-22.

At the end of a year that saw Jack Laugher and Anthony Harding win World Championship silver and European and Commonwealth titles in their maiden season as a synchro pairing, British Diving Performance Centre Leeds’ Adam Smallwood won the Outstanding Diving Coach.

Maisie Summers-Newton – who won two Paralympic golds on her Games debut in Tokyo and then went one better at this year’s World Para Swimming Championships – won the Outstanding Para-Swimmer crown, with Poppy Maskill named the Para-Swimming Emerging Athlete of 2021-22.

Dean won 21 international medals in 2021-2022 encompassing Tokyo 2021 and European Championships in both years as well as the 2022 World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

He had been nominated alongside Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott and Ben Proud with the quartet claiming 50 medals between them across 2021-22.

Dean said:

“It was great to get called up again and to share the stage with the other winners from the other sports within British Swimming – and then hearing the story of Maurice Watkins. I just spoke to his daughter and she was telling me all about what he did for our sports in his nine years with British Swimming, which was incredible. So to be honoured with an award in his name is really special,” he said.

“There is such competition that I was up against tonight. The three other guys nominated alongside me for the Outstanding Swimmer Award (Adam Peaty, Ben Proud and Duncan Scott) are all record-breakers in their own right in the last two years, from Olympic medals to defending titles to backing up competition on top of competition – so to be able to step up there and win the award was incredible.

“I shouted them out in my speech and said anybody could’ve won this award, it’s a real testament to the strength of British Swimming at the moment. It’s so great to be a part of that, to be in that energy and to be part of a driving force within, pushing British Swimming to greater heights, it was brilliant.”