From Swim Lessons to Tokyo Olympics

Droitwich’s very own Matt Richards was part of Britain’s first 4x200m freestyle relay victory at the Olympics since 1908.

How did Matt start? Matt was born in Worcester and is the only child of Amanda and Simon Richards. Matt currently lives in Bath and trains at the GB National Centre with coach, Jol Finck.

Matt has been swimming since he was 5 years old when he started swimming lessons at Droitwich Leisure Centre. His parents made the decision to take him to lessons following a family holiday to Tenerife where Matt decided that he didn’t want to wear armbands anymore, so promptly took them off and launched himself into the hotel pool!

Just like all youngsters, Matt worked his way through the swimming levels, finding some easier than others. But he immediately discovered an absolute love of being in the water. Finally, aged 8 years old, he tackled the dreaded Gold Challenge, which entailed swimming 800 metres in 25 minutes. Not surprisingly, having achieved this, Matt had got a taste for challenging himself and striving to achieve more. So at this point, Matt decided he wanted to join the local swimming team, Droitwich Dolphins, where he took his first steps into the world of competitive swimming.

Since then Matt has been pushing himself further & further to be one of the best in Britain. In April 2021, Matt finally got the chance to compete at the Olympic trials at the Aquatic Centre, Olympic Park, London. He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 Freestyle as an individual swimmer, coming second only to Duncan Scott.

On Tuesday 27th 2021, Matt Richards was part of Britain’s first 4x200m freestyle relay victory at the Olympics since 1908. Team GB have won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

Speaking to good morning britian, his parent’s said this:

From all of the Rivers team, congratulation on your first gold medal!! We can’t be more happy for Matt & proud to have helped you start your swimming journey. We know you’re already an inspiration to loads of young Worcestershire swimmers.

For more information on our Swim Lessons, please continue on our website, click your local centre & then click swim lessons.