A LONG-SERVING member of Solihull Swimming Club has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year Honors List for his outstanding voluntary service to swimming and water polo.
Mike Beard, from Stoourbridge, has dedicated over 35 years to Solihull Swimming Club in variety of roles including committee member, chairman and water polo coach.
He currently serves as the club’s vice chairman continues to coach water polo up to four times a week, with two of his recent protégés, Jake Vincent and Rosie Morris, competing for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
As well as involvement in swimming at the club, Mike has held various roles in an honorary capacity at regional and national level over the years.
He had held many roles within the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) since 1977, including becoming a committee member in 1991 where he remained for 15 years and as president of the ASA he attending the 2000 Sydney Olympic in his capacity.
“I’m really pleased to have been honoured but everything I have done has been for the benefit of Solihull Swimming Club,” Mike told the Observer.
“I think it’s great for swimming and water polo that it gets some publicity.
“We have always focused on developing junior players and have produced several junior internationals both male and female.
“Two of my protégés, Jake Vincent and Rosie Morris, graduated to senior international level and played for GB men’s and women’s teams respectively in the 2012 Olympics.”
Mike’s passion for swimming began at the age of seven at Stourbridge swimming club and he still manages to go for a swim at 7am every morning at Tudor Grange.