Naomi Riches announces her retirement
Reigning Paralympic and six-times World Champion Naomi Riches MBE has today announced her retirement from rowing.
The 30 year-old is going out on a high having won her sixth World title at the 2013 Championships in Chungju, Republic of Korea.
“I feel that I have achieved everything that I wanted to achieve in the sport and what better way to finish than on the high of a home Paralympic Games gold medal in London , followed by the World title”, said Riches
“I want to give something back now and I am looking forward to my next career”.
Riches will be doing some work as an Athlete Mentor for the Youth Sports Trust. She has been an Ambassador for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Charity and for an online fund-raising website Make-a-Donation for the past year and she will be continuing that work.
The Marlow Rowing Club member first took up the sport after attending an Adaptive Rowing (now Para-Rowing) awareness day at London Docklands in 2004 although she had tried the sport briefly whilst she was at the Royal National Institute for the Blind College in Worcester. Before that she was a keen competitive swimmer.
She soon moved to the top of the sport and went on to win Paralympic bronze in the mixed coxed four in Beijing in 2008 – the same boat in which she won gold in London.
Outside her rowing, Naomi, born in Harrow, has completed her studies for a BA in Metalwork and Jewelry Design. She is a talented motivational speaker and is renowned for her drive and enthusiasm for a wide range of charity and other work.
Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “Naomi is an outstanding athlete who has achieved at the highest level against, at times, some fierce competition for seats in her boat class. She has been a driver to bring British Para Rowing into the top level with rowing’s entry into the Paralympics for the first time in Beijing. We wish her every success in her future career”.
Tom Dyson, GB Rowing Team Para-Rowing Lead Coach said: “Naomi has been at the heartbeat of our mixed coxed four in recent years. She is one of the only rowers to have kept up with the progression in standards in our sport since 2004, in particular since missing out on the world championships in 2010 she has come back to dominate and benefitted hugely from the support of our partnership with Guide Dogs”.
Naomi won World Championship titles from 2004-6, 2009, 2011, and 2013. She also won silver in 2007.