Commonwealth Games record holder: British-Seychellois swimmer open to working with Seychelles’ team
A Commonwealth Games record holder, James Goddard, who was born in Seychelles and his father is Seychellois, said he is open to working with Seychellois swimmers in the future, but for now he is focusing on his work with the Thailand national team.
The 39-year-old backstroke swimming specialist is currently on holiday in Seychelles with his family.
Goddard, whose 200m backstroke record still holds, said that representing England has been a wonderful experience for him, where he holds the 200m backstroke record for the Commonwealth Games. He set the record of 1 minute 55.58 seconds at the games in India in 2010. No swimmer has broken the record to date.
“It was a real pleasure to represent England at various levels, including Great Britain at the Olympics and I am really proud of what I have achieved in my swimming career,” said Goddard, who now works with swimmers in Thailand.
The record holder said that a lot more investment is needed in Seychelles swimming if the island nation in the western Indian Ocean is to improve performances in the sport.
He revealed that he would not have reached the level he is at today if he lived in Seychelles and this is why he believes that more needs to be done like getting high level facilities and training for the local swimmers.
“The youths need a lot of training. Training is very important and you need to be dedicated to what you are doing in order to continue improving and get to a higher level,” he said.
The former swimmer said he got the chance to visit the Seychelles national swimming pool which he said is very good and hopes the youth use it.
“I will not rule out working with Seychelles in the future as I am Seychellois and I love it here. But at the moment, my priority is working with Thailand and seeking to improve their levels,” said Goddard.
Goddard was born in Seychelles and lived in the northern Mahe district of Beau Vallon until age five, when his family moved to Stockport, England.
He won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 in the men’s 200 m backstroke event. In 2006, he won bronze for the 200 m individual medley. Goddard won gold at the 2010 games in the men’s 200m backstroke and gold in the men’s 200m individual medley.