Niki represented ParalympicsGB at three consecutive Paralympic Games and is a double Paralympic bronze medallist.
He cites his family as key influences in his sporting career and prior to switching into the Paralympic classes he enjoyed significant success in the sport with his brother. Their achievements included qualifying for the 420 Worlds and 470 Worlds and securing the title of European Junior Mirror champions, before Niki began competing in the 2.4mR, and then the SKUD 18.
Niki and longterm sailing partner Alexandra Rickham narrowly missed out on a podium place on their Paralympic debut at Beijing 2008, but entered competition at London 2012 as reigning World Champions.
After several days of highly competitive racing they were awarded the bronze medal after poor conditions on the final day of competition denied the duo the chance to race for silver.
In addition to the gold medal that Helena Lucas won in the 2,4mR, the bronze medal achievement from Birrell and Rickham helped ParalympicsGB to secure their most successful performance in sailing at a Paralympic Games since the event was formally introduced to the programme in 2000.
At Rio 2016, Birrell and Rickham succeeded in winning bronze in a highly competitive field.
The pair have won five World Championship titles in their class.
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