Paralympic swimming champion, Sascha Kindred CBE awarded honorary degree

One of Britain’s most successful Paralympic athletes, swimmer Sascha Kindred CBE, has been awarded an honorary degree from the University.

Kindred received his Degree of Doctor of Laws from our Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, at a ceremony at Bath Assembly Rooms (Wednesday 3 May) ahead of the Students’ Union’s Annual Blues Awards for sporting achievement.

Earlier in the day the seven-times swimming champion was inducted into the University of Bath Hall of Fame for Sport.

HRH The Earl of Wessex awards honorary degree to Sascha Kindred CBE

Sascha Kindred CBE receives his honorary degree from the University's Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex

Kindred has competed at six Paralympic Games, winning seven gold, three silver and three bronze medals. Over a remarkable 23 year career he won 62 international medals and still holds 12 British records.

He was part of a group of para-swimmers, coached by Emma Patrick, who joined the Team Bath family in 1999 that also included Nyree Lewis, now his wife. He trained at Bath until 2001.

Both won medals at a hugely-successful Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games for the group, with Kindred striking gold in the 100m breaststroke SB7 and 200m individual medley SM6.

He went on to defend those titles at both the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Games before reclaiming his 200m IM crown at Rio 2016, smashing the world record in the process.

Commenting on his honorary degree, Sascha said: “I am incredibly proud to receive this recognition from the University of Bath, it is a proud moment for me and my family. It’s a really big surprise but a pleasant one. It is about more than sport, it is about trying to be a role model and inspiring, and the honorary degree recognises that. I am really honoured.

“Back in 1999 it was a massive decision to move away from home and come down here but it was one that made me into the Paralympic athlete I have been over the years. This is where my career was kick-started. Arguably Sydney was my best Paralympic Games in terms of results, performances and medals. I won four in total – two gold, one silver and one bronze – and I don’t think I ever quite reached those levels again. That was down to being based here.”

Added to his phenomenal personal sporting success Kindred is known in the athletic world as a man who always has time for others and is a true role model.

Professor Chris Jennison, from the our Department of Mathematical Sciences, said in his oration: “Despite the individual nature of swimming events, Sascha is definitely a team player. He has played the valuable role of mentor to Paralympic swimming champions Ellie Simmonds, Ollie Hynd and Matt Wylie. He has been an inspiration to a whole host of athletes, including cyclists like Jody Cundy and Dame Sarah Storey, who were also swimmers in their time.”

In February 2017, Sascha announced his retirement from competitive swimming. He said that he looks forward to spending more time with his biggest fans, his wife Nyree and daughter Ella, and hopes to continue inspiring another generation of para-swimmers.

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