(Seychelles News Agency) – A commonwealth games Record holder James Goddard, who was born in Seychelles and whose father is Seychellois, said he is open to working with Seychellois swimmers in the future, but for now he is concentrating on his work with the Thai national team.
The 39-year-old backstroke specialist is currently on vacation in the Seychelles with his family.
Goddard, whose 200m backstroke record still stands, said representing England has been a wonderful experience for him, where he holds the 200m backstroke record for the Commonwealth Games. He set the record of 1 minute 55.58 seconds at the games in India in 2010. No swimmer has broken the record to date.
“It has been a real pleasure to represent England at various levels including Great Britain at the Olympics and I am really proud of what I have achieved in my swimming career,” said Goddard, who now works with swimmers in Thailand.
The record holder said much more investment is needed in Seychelles swimming if the western Indian Ocean island nation is to improve its performance in the sport.
He revealed that he wouldn’t have reached the level he is at today if he lived in Seychelles and that’s why he thinks more needs to be done like getting top level facilities and training the swimmers local.
“Youngsters need a lot of training. Training is very important and you have to focus on what you are doing in order to keep improving and reaching a higher level,” he said.
The former swimmer said he had the chance to visit the Seychelles national swimming pool which he says is very good and hopes the youngsters will use it.
“I will not rule out working with Seychelles in the future as I am Seychellois and I love it here. But at the moment my priority is to work with Thailand and seek to improve their levels,” said Godard.
Goddard was born in the Seychelles and lived in the northern district of Mahé in Beau Vallon until the age of five, when his family moved to Stockport, England.
He won the gold medal at commonwealth games in 2002 in the men’s 200m backstroke. In 2006, he won bronze in the 200m individual medley. Goddard won gold at the 2010 Games in the men’s 200m backstroke and gold in the men’s 200m medley.