Learn more about the swimming nominees across the 'Athlete of the Year', 'Emerging Athlete of the Year' and 'Coach of the Year' categories at British Swimming: The Awards 2023.
Swimming Athlete of the Year
2023 Shortlist: Tom Dean, Matt Richards and Duncan Scott
Tom Dean MBE
British Swimming Performance Centre Bath
Tom Dean was one of the standout performers of the 2023 World Aquatics Championships – taking four medals across the week, including being crowned world champion for the first time as part of the dominant Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team.
Following a record-breaking year for the 23-year-old in 2022, he continued this form into this year, playing his part in another British 1-2 in the Men’s 200m Freestyle on the global stage, touching 0.02 seconds behind teammate Matt Richards for Worlds silver, before a powerful closing freestyle leg secured 200m Individual Medley bronze.
Tom followed those results by anchoring the 4x200m Freestyle Relay team to gold in Fukuoka, before closing his meet with bronze for his involvement in the success of the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay cohort.
Matt Richards MBE
Matt Richards left the World Championships in Fukuoka as a double world champion after storming to 200m Freestyle victory and helping the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team back to the top of the world.
The 20-year-old took the lead in the final few metres of the individual event to touch just ahead of compatriot Dean, as they took a historic 1-2 finish, before doubling his gold medal tally for the Championships in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay final, as he went in the second leg for the British team in the final.
A further bronze medal in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay final gave him his third medal of the competition, while he also broke the 100m Freestyle British record three times on his way to a fifth-placed finish in that contest to cap a stunning meet.
Duncan Scott MBE
University of Stirling
Duncan Scott took a medal of every colour at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, including being part of Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay triumph at a World Champs for the third time, eight years after his debut gold in Kazan.
Duncan began his meet with a superb silver in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final – replicating his result from the Olympic Games in Tokyo two years prior. He then went on to lead out the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team to world gold the following day, laying the foundations for a resounding victory.
His final medal of the competition came in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay, where he went in the second leg of the final as the team secured the bronze medal and a new European record.
Swimming Emerging Athlete of the Year
2023 Shortlist: Skye Carter, Phoebe Cooper and Matthew Ward
Skye enjoyed a successful 2023 on the junior stage, with three and five medals at the 2023 European Junior Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games respectively.
Skye began her busy summer with an individual Women’s 50m Freestyle medal on the European stage, coupled with respective bronze and silver medals in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay and Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay.
She then moved on to the Commonwealth Youth Games with Team England, taking to the podium five times across the four days of action in Trinidad and Tobago – including shattering the 50m Freestyle Championship record on her way to the gold medal in the event.
City of Sheffield
Phoebe continued what has been an impressive rise through the junior ranks by securing seven medals across the 2023 European Junior Championships and European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).
In what was a thrilling Women’s 200m Individual Medley final at the former competition, she took the silver medal behind compatriot Leah Schlosshan, with further bronze and silver medals in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay and Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay respectively rounding off her campaign in Belgrade.
She then moved to EYOF, where she bettered her European Juniors performance, with four medals. She took the title in the 200m Individual Medley, before a hat-trick of relay medals in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (silver), 4x100m Medley Relay (silver), and Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay (bronze) rounded off what was a successful summer for the athlete.
Matthew Ward has been one of the most successful British junior athletes of 2023 – taking a staggering 11 medals across both the 2023 European Junior Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games.
The first competition in Belgrade saw the 18-year-old win a hat-trick of bronze medals across the 50m and 100m Backstroke, and the 200m Individual Medley. He also secured a silver medal as part of the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay team, getting the team off to a strong backstroke start.
His time at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games with Team Scotland was equally as impressive, as he upgraded his two backstroke medals at European level to a pair of golds in Trinidad and Tobago. He also took titles in the 200m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley.
Swimming Coach of the Year
2023 Shortlist: Ryan Livingstone, David McNulty and Steven Tigg
Under Ryan’s guidance, Matt Richards became a double world champion at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka after a stunning campaign.
Matt timed his swim to perfection to claim the Men’s 200m Freestyle gold with Ryan in the stands as part of the GB coaching setup, before he went on to play a key part in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay. He was also part of the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay team that won bronze.
Emily Large was Livingstone’s other athlete in action in Fukuoka, with the British silver medallist in the Women’s 200m Butterfly going 10th in the same event on the world stage.
British Swimming Performance Centre Bath
David and his Bath Performance centre stable were busy again in 2023, with his Bath athletes taking medals in four events at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships – including the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay where James Guy and Tom Dean combined as part of the quartet that claimed the World Championship title.
Dean took two further medals individually across the week, with respective silver and bronze medals in the Men’s 200m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley. He also teamed up with Bath teammate Freya Anderson as the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay team took the bronze medal.
Jacob Peters was another one of McNulty’s athletes who made an impression at the competition in Fukuoka, as he took fourth place in the Men’s 50m Butterfly.
University of Stirling
Steven continued his impressive record of producing international swimmers competing at the highest level, as his programme at the University of Stirling saw five athletes selected for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships.
His long-time protégé Duncan Scott enjoyed yet another successful global meet, securing a medal of each colour – including Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay gold. Katie Shanahan and Lucy Hope were also in finals action in Fukuoka, with the latter athlete taking a bronze medal as part of the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay cohort.
Keanna MacInnes, meanwhile, won two European U23 titles in the 100m & 200m Butterfly at the inaugural U23 Championships in Dublin.
Image of Steven Tigg courtesy of Ian MacNicol for Scottish Swimming