Since the double Olympian retired, she has been instrumental in coaching swimmer Adam Peaty become a Commonwealth and European gold champion.
As well as coaching hundreds of swimmers at the City of Derby Club, Mel has raised £75,000 for charity and has worked in Zambia, using sport to educate people about HIV and youth and women empowerment.
“In 2013, I did a 500km bike ride across Africa in 42degrees,” Mel, 33, says. “I took Adam with me. I knew from the start he had real potential. When you’ve got talent, it’s not just about building the performance it’s about building the person.”
Mel has coached Adam, 20, for seven years and even bought him a car so he could get to training. “I’m very proud of him,” Mel says.
“I’m also proud of the 300 other swimmers of all levels I look after at the club. My youngest is five and the oldest 81 – with potential Rio candidates. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to the Olympics or the County Championships. It’s about getting to your own Olympics whatever that might be.”