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The Royal School’s Elite Swimmers Alice Dearing and Matthew Richards have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with Team GB!

Alice Dearing, who is 24, confirmed her Olympic spot by finishing fourth at the 10km Open Water qualification event in Setubal, Portugal last week. History was made in the process with Alice being the first black woman in the UK to qualify in swimming for an Olympic Games. Her hope is that she can inspire thousands more black people to take up swimming.

“I really hope it will inspire thousands more people to look and think ‘well she’s got Afro hair, she’s black and she’s not that tall, but she’s doing swimming and has made it to the Olympics for Britain’, so I can give it a go.”

Alice started boarding at The Royal School in 2010 and finished her A Levels in 2015, moving onto Loughborough University where she is now finalising her master’s degree.

Matthew Richards qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in April in the prestigious 100 & 200 Freestyle events. Matt also boarded at The Royal and found a perfect harmony in his academic outcomes coupled with his swimming ambitions.

“The facilities at The Royal School are fantastic. The coaching team have been family to me during my time at The Royal. They helped shape me not only as an athlete but also the person I am today. The team at The Royal have a huge impact in making sure all the swimmers have a perfect balance between school and training, making it seamless. I don’t think anyone could wish for more than that. The Royal School is a family and not just a boarding school,” Matt said.

Matthew has broken numerous British Records whilst at The Royal, competing and winning in the European Junior Championships, and the prestigious International Swimming League.

“From the first year of being at The Royal, my times dropped significantly and continued to do so throughout my time there,” he added.

We wish Alice and Matthew the best of luck in their quest to bring back medals from Japan!

See more about Alice here.