Swim England

A nation swimming

Richard Hookway begins his role as Swim England chairperson

The new chairperson of the Swim England board has said he is looking forward to promoting the benefits of swimming to the widest possible audience.

Richard Hookway officially starts a four-year term in the role today.

The 59-year-old has taken over from Sue Smith MBE, who had held the title since last October after Mike Farrar stepped down due to work commitments on the front line during the pandemic. 

Richard, a former board member of Centrica and chief executive of Centrica Business, said: “Aquatics sports are such an important part of ensuring a healthy nation – both the physical aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but also the mental health benefits that come from participation and exercise.

“I have also experienced first-hand the benefit that my children got from the sport – not just the health benefits I mentioned but also life lessons.

“These include learning how to take winning and losing in your stride, the importance of preparation and practice, the ability to manage time and competing priorities as well as dealing with pressure and stress.

Have an impact

“Being able to contribute and to bring aquatic sports and all of these benefits to the widest possible audience was my main motivation for wanting to join the board.”

Richard said his involvement in aquatics began through his three children, who are all still actively involved in the sports.

“I have always enjoyed all sports and participated in many,” he said. “However my deep commitment to the sport of aquatics came through my children.

“I have three girls all of whom had long-lasting swim careers from learn to swim through competitive swimming with their club, (Camden Swiss Cottage) ultimately to medals at Age Group Nationals and the England Talent Programme.

“All three are still involved in the sport. One moved onto triathlons, another to water polo and the third is still swimming competitively at university.

“I’m looking forward to being able to have an impact and to advance all the aquatic sports in the nation and working with such a talented group of professionals.”