Simon Richards


Swimming/Sporting Background/Achievements

I have never swum competitively. I am a competent swimmer and have a half decent breaststroke, but would never put myself up against our athletes, they never cease to amaze me with their abilities! What I do have is a passion for sport and an ability to quickly pick up the technical side of most sports.

I have a history of playing basketball (being 6’5″ helps!) and have played to a decent standard, playing against National League players and winning National competitions over the years through my work. I only stopped playing in 2012 as I decided to look into new areas of sport.

I am a rugby fan and have enjoyed playing and watching it for years. I am a qualified RFU referee and Coach and spent five years as Head Coach of a local mini rugby team, taking them from brand-new to the game, through Tag Rugby and into Contact Rugby. I achieved huge successes with the kids and won numerous trophies and tournaments year on year. In my final year of Coaching, the kids went undefeated all season and won seven Tournaments across the whole of the Region! A huge achievement of which I am very proud, they are a very special bunch of kids. I finished Coaching them in October 2012 when my son decided to focus his attention on swimming and hang up his rugby boots.

I have been training in taekwondo since 2012 and really enjoy it. I have successfully graded on a number of occasions and am developing well. I  have taken part in both the British and English Opens and won medals and Trophies at both!  I train two times a week and will continue to keep working towards my Black Belt in a couple of years hopefully.

I have been an ASA qualified Official for a year and can regularly be seen poolside at League and Open events doing my bit for the Club when we have to provide Officials. It makes the day go much quicker and without Officials we would not be able to run events so I’m happy to do my bit. This technical knowledge has helped in my personal development in swimming and helps a lot as I have moved onto the next stage…

I have been helping with Coaching the Junior County squad since summer 2013. I gained my Level 2 Coaching Award in February 2014 and it is my genuine pleasure to be able to help out with such a great bunch of kids. We are very lucky to have kids at the Club who work really hard, listen well (mostly!) and put our instructions into action! It is amazing to watch their development and know that you have a part to play in it. It really does make me proud.

We have some hugely talented Coaches at the Club and I learn a lot from them week in, week out. Their commitment to the kids and the Club community is significant. The depth of swimming experience they bring to the Club is massive and I know that we all appreciate them. I certainly do as a Parent as well as a Coach and Official.

I will do all I can to help our little stars develop from competent swimmers, through to County-level swimming and beyond. The joy on their faces when they achieve new PBs is fantastic! I look forward to being sat in front of the TV in years to come and seeing one of our kids representing Team GB and being able to say I helped on their journey!

Favourite stroke
To swim – I can manage a competent Breaststroke, but won’t win any medals anytime soon!
To coach – From a Coaching perspective, I love all of the strokes and find the IM a hugely exciting event! Each brings its own challenges and is a great thing to help Coach the kids with.

Favourite training set
I don’t have the depth of knowledge yet to be able to answer that! I really do enjoy all of the sets we do with the kids and am regularly spellbound by their abilities and capacity to push themselves on to bigger, better and quicker things. All I ask for from them is to do their best, which they do for me in virtually every session.

3 things you couldn’t do without
1 My family. I am very lucky to have a wonderful son and wife, I would be lost without them.
2 Chocolate. If you find any Cadburys Dairy Milk lying around, it’s mine!
3 My iPad! I wasn’t sure why they were needed when they first came out, now I’d fight you if you tried to take it off me!

If you won the lottery what would you do?
I would spend more time Coaching believe it or not?! I can be found poolside 5 days a week, but would do far more if I didn’t have to do that pesky “working for a living” thing!!

I would also have a very nice collection of cars to drive to and from Coaching!!

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