Richard Phelps
                         Olympic Rower

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Richard Phelps (Class of 1983)

The Olympic Oarsman Richard Phelps believes that the bursary programme is what makes the melting pot of diverse students which is at the heart of the school.

Richard competed in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and later led Cambridge to three straight victories in the infamous Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race. He has worked in banking for 22 years, a large portion of that at Barclays Investment Bank, but still finds time to coach rowing, to act as a Steward at Henley Royal Regatta and to umpire the Boat Race from time to time.  Richard is one of three generations of Latymerians: his father Michael is Class of 1950 and he has two children still at Latymer while his eldest recently left to go to college in the US.  His wife Annamarie is a Governor at Latymer. Richard’s family have rowed on the Thames for 200 years and his first outing was on the Thames in Putney with his grandfather at a very young age but it was not until he came to Latymer that he got the rowing bug.

On rowing at Latymer:

“Latymer was a great school for rowing when I was there and it’s still just as good, or even better. It’s also great to see that boys and girls are focused on it equally, in fact the girls are doing better than the boys at the moment. I coach here sometimes so am very much still involved with it.”

Reflecting on the secret to success, Richard says;

“To me I think success is when you wake up looking forward to the day ahead. Success is when you are fundamentally happy with who you are and what you do. And I think success is when you feel you’ve done something which leaves a legacy. And you know if we can all leave the world in a slightly better place than we found it, then that’s great.”

 Why the Inspiring Minds campaign is important;

“The Inspiring Minds campaign is very important because it’s through schools like Latymer that we can help young people evolve, develop – they are inspirational but they can be inspired and they can achieve more. And if Latymer can do that through increased bursaries I think that’s a very important thing.”

 Richard enjoyed the diverse mix of students while at Latymer and that’s why he’s been a committed supporter of the bursary programme since 2005;

“Latymer in the late 70s and early 80s was a very broad mix, of ok admittedly all boys, but from all kinds of backgrounds and to me the reason why the bursary programme is so important is because that is Latymer. Latymer is a lovely mix of people of varying backgrounds and cultures and it doesn’t matter whether you can or cannot afford to pay the fees, that’s an irrelevance. Latymer is about a melting pot that brings the best out of people and to me the bursaries programme is so important because we need to keep that mix.”