Richard Fidler talks sport with Richard Apps

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Richard Apps, aged 44, is a former world life saving champion and is general manager of Ponds Forge.

What have you been doing today?

I’ve been getting the venue ready for events coming up over the next four weeks which include the ASA Masters and Senior Age Group Championships, Sheffield Steal Ultimate Frisbee and Octopush Nautilus event.

Who is your inspiration and why?

I have been inspired in different ways by so many people and things that it is difficult to pick just one.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

I love watching all sports but the people who have most stuck in my mind are Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram and Peter Elliot.

What’s your favourite (other) sport?

If I can’t choose swimming, it has to be athletics.

Who is your most famous person in your phone?

Both Rebecca Adlington and Tom Daley regularly compete at Ponds Forge so I see them around – I must try to get their phone numbers!

When was the last time you cried?

Watching Ellie Simmonds win her 400m record at the Paralympic Games in London this summer.

Who or what are you most proud of?

My children, Jade (13) and Liam (12) make me a very proud dad. They are the best kids a parent could ask for, but don’t tell them I said that as they might ask for a reward!

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

“Those who reach touch the stars.” Team GB and Paralympics GB have embodied this ethos this summer.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

It is important to not lose focus or become complacent, so I am still working hard to be good at what I do.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

I don’t have any items I take everywhere but I do try to take a conscientious attitude with me wherever I go.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

When I competed in my first World Lifesaving Championships, in Durban in 1996. My team finished fourth. In the 2001 Daytona Championships, we won a team gold, and also an individual silver in the Run, Swim, Run Masters event.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

Yes, but it is always better to make a decision than to not make one and see an opportunity pass you by.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

They are not for me personally but are useful and enjoyable for a lot of people.

How do you relax away from sport?

Sport is a massive part of my life, but I’ve been renovating an old cottage near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire for the last two years. It has kept me busy and helped me switch off from other things.

Where was your last holiday – and would you go again?

London. Our trip included a visit to the Paralympics and was the first time we had taken the kids to London, so we had a fantastic time. We will definitely go again.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite – if not, who provides the perfect meal?

I worked as a chef in Guernsey for two years, in Australia for one year and in Nottingham for two. At home I cook at weekends and for family events like Christmas. I love all sorts of different food so it’s tricky to pick just one dish!

What was the last book you read?

Alan Sugar’s autobiography.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

I currently don’t want to change career but if I had to, I would like to become a professional athlete. In my current job I am around them a lot of the time so it might be a relatively seamless transition.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

I am fortunate enough to manage a venue which is one of the most well-known, iconic facilities in Sheffield.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

I love watching most televised sports.