Paralympics swimmer Andrew Mullen has paid tribute to Mactaggart & Mickel as he set his sights on next year’s world championships.
The 24-year-old Scot says he is grateful to the Glasgow-based company for their ongoing support ahead of his participation at this summer’s Tokyo Paralympic Games.
It was Andrew’s third Paralympics and while he might not have added to the silver and two bronze medals he won at Rio; he still regards his Tokyo adventure as a success.
“Overall, it was a tremendous experience, and it was a real honour to be part of the Paralympics GB team,” Andrew said.
“There was a sense of togetherness and camaraderie among the competitors which made it really special and that’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
“I was really happy with my efforts in the pool, especially with the backstroke, where I reached the final, given the build-up which was hampered by Covid restrictions.”
Mactaggart & Mickel have sponsored Andrew for the last five years and he is thankful for the company’s loyalty.
“Mactaggart & Mickel have stood by me and that is something that will always mean a lot to me,” Andrew added.
“They stuck with me when times were tough, and the Tokyo Paralympics was postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and that meant a lot to me and my family.
“It was nice to know I had a family company that was prepared to back me all the way because it’s reassuring to have people who believe in you.
“Their generosity and encouragement meant I could commit to my sporting processes and as a competitive swimmer that’s invaluable.”
Andrew made a bit of history as a member of the first ever Paralympics GB swimming relay team and took part in the 50-metre freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly events.
While he might not have won any medals, Andrew did help the relay team to win a place in the final and competed in the backstroke final and he remains satisfied with his efforts in the pool.
“All things considered with Covid, just getting to Tokyo as a member of the ParalympicsGB team was a fairly big achievement in its own right.
“I thought I gave a good account of myself and I might well have medaled again but for the changes to the classification,” Andrew said.
After all his exertions, Andrew, who lives in Newton Mearns in the Southside of Glasgow, is now taking a time-out “to decompress” before planning in earnest for the next chapter in his swimming career.
“It’s nice to relax, see friends again and have a bit more freedom again after having to play things safe before Tokyo to avoid Covid which would have ruled me out of the Paralympics,
“I’m also planning to pick up my studies again and return to university after Christmas but I’m also going to sit down with my coach to work our plans.
“I’m only 24 years old which is too young to hang up my goggles, so I’ll be getting back at it in the pool and then I’ll start looking at next year’s European and world championships.
“I was happy with my performances at the Paralympics which have given me a platform to build on. I want swimming to be a substantial part of my life for foreseeable future.”
Mactaggart & Mickel Director Joanne Casey said: “We have a proud tradition of supporting people in communities like Newton Mearns where we’re building homes through our Building Communities Fund.
“We have been honoured to back Andrew all the way over the last five years and it was great to see him do himself and his country proud at the Paralympics after a difficult build-up.
“Taking part in three Paralympics is a brilliant achievement and testimony to the hard work, dedication and determination shown by Andrew since we first got to know him.
“He might not have brought home a medal from Japan but as far as Mactaggart & Mickel are concerned he will always be a sporting hero.”