The 2023 British Swimming Awards ceremony took place in Birmingham, England last night with several notable names being recognized for their achievements.
World champion Matt Richards was among them, with the 20-year-old earning the Athlete of the Year award.
This year in Fukuoka, Richards claimed gold in the individual men’s 200m freestyle and was also a member of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay which took gold.
Richards also lowered the British national record in the 100m freestyle and contributed to his nation’s 4x100m freestyle relay bronze in Fukuoka.
As for his award, Richards said, “I’m over the moon. It’s been a great year – this wasn’t the goal at the start of the season, but obviously I’m super happy to walk away with this. It’s a testament to my team, Ryan [Livingstone] and the rest of guys at Millfield and the hard work we’ve all put in. Hopefully we can just continue to improve and build now and have an even better one next year.
“It was my first individual gold on a senior level, so obviously that was massive. There were lots of things that didn’t quite go right – the 100m wasn’t necessarily where I wanted it to be, but getting the British record was still a big win. We’ve got so much momentum now, I’ve got a lot of confidence going into this year and I’m really excited to see what we can do in Paris.”
Richards’ coach at Millfield, Ryan Livingstone, took home Coach of the Year honors.
Up-and-comer Matthew Ward nabbed the Emerging Athlete of the Year award for swimming. The 18-year-old put up a series of impressive performances across the European Junior Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games, amassing 11 medals in all.
Ward earned 50m back, 100m back and 200m IM bronze medals at Euro Juniors while the following month he upgraded to a gold medal sweep of the backstroke events and gold in the 200m IM.
Maisie Summers-Newton earned the Para-Swimming Athlete of the Year and the coveted Maurice Watkins Champion Athlete award.
Summers-Newton said of her recognition, “Looking at the names on this trophy, Adam Peaty, Alice Tai, Tom Dean, Jack Laugher, it’s very special and I think it’s amazing for another para athlete to win this again, so it’s just very special.”
FULL LIST OF WINNERS AT BRITISH SWIMMING: THE AWARDS 2023
Maisie Summers-Newton – Maurice Watkins Champion Athlete
Maisie Summers-Newton – Para-Swimming Athlete of the Year
Matt Richards – Swimming Athlete of the Year
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix & Lois Toulson – Diving Athlete of the Year
Kate Shortman – Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year
Kathy Rogers – Water Polo Athlete of the Year
Andy Sharp – Para-Swimming Coach of the Year
Ryan Livingstone – Swimming Coach of the Year
Alex Rochas – Diving Coach of the Year
Yumiko Tomomatsu – Artistic Swimming Coach of the Year
Alastair Roberts – Water Polo Coach of the Year
Faye Rogers – Para-Swimming Emerging Athlete of the Year
Matthew Ward – Swimming Emerging Athlete of the Year
Robbie Lee – Diving Emerging Athlete of the Year