Hometown hero Lewis Richardson revelling in Colchester support network

Hometown hero Lewis Richardson revelling in Colchester support network

By Paul Martin

Lewis Richardson hailed his Colchester support network after sealing his spot as the first Olympic boxer the city has produced.

The 27-year-old was officially named as part of Team GB’s six-strong boxing squad on Friday after coming through a qualifier in Thailand at the end of May.

It marks a special comeback story for the fighter, who missed out on Tokyo, and he enjoyed a surprise party organised by his girlfriend to celebrate his qualification when he returned home to Essex.

“It has been a very emotional week full of happiness and pride,” he said.

“Sooner or later, I need to get back to knuckling down, but I’m super professional and I’ll get myself in the best possible shape I can be in for the Olympics.

“But at the same time, I want to enjoy this moment, I’ve worked extremely hard for it.

“There have been a lot of trials and tribulations along the way so I want to make sure I enjoy it before getting my head down to put myself in with a shout of a medal.

“We want to keep that enjoyment and make sure morale is good. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.

“I’m Colchester’s first ever Olympic boxer, so it’s a proud moment for me and the city. I have a lot of support there and I hope they can get behind me, it’s exciting times.”

Richardson, who missed most of 2023 with a wrist injury and has had to drop a weight category to make the Games after his was removed from the Olympic programme, will benefit from the Nearest & Dearest programme in Paris.

The initiative helps maximise support and minimise potential distractions for athletes so that they can focus on their performance and make the most of the unique opportunity to compete on one of the world’s largest stages.

And there is one family member Richardson is particularly grateful to have in his corner.

“My brother Deacon has been with me every step of the way,” he said. “He’s four years older than me and has always been a positive role model who has kept me on the straight and narrow when it’s easy to be led astray.

“He was a good big brother who used to let me win at certain things but when I got to early teenage years, he didn’t need to let me win, I would win naturally – as much as he may beg to differ!

“We were very competitive and having him there helped me become better quicker.”

Aldi are proud Official Partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024