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Double Commonwealth champion Hannah Miley has another award to add to her haul after being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to swimming and women in sport.
But, as she had moved house, the official letter had been sent to her parents, Carmel and Patrick, and rather than the Royal Mail, it was her mum who ended up delivering the good news.
“She came over and she didn’t know what it was, and then I opened it and I had to re-read it several times and then I burst into tears and then hugged my mum and my mum burst into tears as well. It was just lovely,” said the 32-year-old, who announced her retirement from competitive swimming in December.
“To be able to share that moment with her was very, very special.
There are never enough characters on Twitter to write everything I want to say but just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s been part of my journey 😊 @PatMileyH2O @britishswimming @ScottishSwim @teamgb @uk_sport @GASCInverurie @UOAPS ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/KaK2DOn6wm
— Hannah Miley (@HannahMiley89) December 1, 2021
“It meant the world to me. I put 100 per cent effort into my sport for so many years, and I don’t do it for the accolades, I don’t do it for the rewards at the end of it. I do it because I love what I do and I love being able to make an impact and help people.
“But to get an MBE for all that I’ve done, it’s kind of cool.”
Miley, who was born in Swindon and moved to Inverurie with her family when just three months old, started out at Garioch Amateur Swimming Club, where she was coached by her father.
She won 400 metres medley gold for Scotland in Delhi in 2010 and successfully defended her title when the Games headed to Glasgow four years later as well as collecting bronze in the 200m medley.
Miley represented Great Britain at three Olympics from 2008 to 2016, narrowly missing out on a podium place when finishing fourth in the 400m medley in Rio.
The Scot took 400m medley silver at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, having claimed European gold in the same event in 2010. She also boasts one silver and three bronze European Championship medals.
Miley won 400m medley gold at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, having secured silver in the 400m and bronze in the 200m medley in Manchester four years previously, and was crowned 400m medley champion at the European Short Course Championships in 2009 and 2012.
During the coronavirus pandemic, she gave hundreds of free online classes to clubs, swimmers and organisations to help inspire and motivate anyone needing support with nutrition, exercise and motivation.
She is also working on a programme to help educate women on menstrual health, saying that, when she was a young athlete, “it wasn’t really dealt with”.
“I was just told to go on the pill and that was it and at that time that was the information we had,” she said. She is now helping to educate female athletes about how to not be “held back by their hormones, to actually realise that they are so much more than just the days that they feel a bit off”.
The honour also recognises her work in Scottish Swimming’s Young Volunteer Programme, which gives young athletes a voice in shaping the future of the sport.