Our Olympians

Matthew Stanley

What sports did you play when you were growing up ? 
Surfing, skiing, cricket, volleyball, tennis and rugby.

How old were you when you first started seriously training for swimming and can you share a few memories about those sessions ?
I starting to train regularly when I was 13 (around 6-7 times a week) but spent most of my time working on school and having fun. It wasn’t until I left school at 18 that I started to train seriously.

Why did you choose swimming ?
I didn’t choose swimming until I was in final year of school and I based my decision on what would give me the greatest opportunities in life. I knew by then that I was a reasonably  good swimming and had the opportunity to get a free education and if I was to work really hard, that I could have a successful international career and compete at the Olympics.

When you were an age group swimmer, was competing at national events a real goal for you and did you have any medals ?  If you did, can you tell us what they were for and how old you were ?
When I was younger I didn’t have the goal of being an age group superstar and never won an age group national medal. My focus as an age grouper was to learn the fundamentals of swimming and to have fun. When I decided to take my swimming seriously, I had a great understanding of the sport, I was still very fresh extremely hungry to improve and be competitive.

When things are getting tough and training isn’t going so well – what motivates you to stay in the sport ?
The desire to achieve my goals.

Any advice for our up and coming young swimmers?
Set goals and never give up on them, figure out what works for you as an athlete, never be lazy with your skill and every training session is an opportunity to improve make the most of them!