August 26, 2019

Featured in Hull Daily Mail

A Hull swimmer has become the first to swim solo across the width of the River Humber and back.

Richard Royal, who also works as the energy programme manager at the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), took the plunge into the estuary on Saturday afternoon, cheered on by family and friends.

He made the crossing, close to the Humber Bridge, in a time of just one hour and 14 minutes, becoming the first person to do the swim alone.

Richard, who has previously swum the English Channel, admitte...

December 3, 2018

This short documentary film by Barksy Media shows my inaugural record breaking swim from the Principality of Sealand to the UK mainland, for which I was Knighted by Sealand. 

July 1, 2016

Published in Outdoor Swimmer Magazine, July 2016

After flippantly agreeing to join a teammate on an English Channel relay swim – organised by Aspire, the UK’s leading spinal injury charity – I have spent the last six months going through the processes and preparations for this challenging event. Having recently returned from the first acclimatisation weekend in Dover, I hope I can provide some advice to any readers considering taking part in future.

The first thing I’d say to anybody tempted to flick past these pages bec...

January 19, 2015

Richard Royal, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool, has backed calls for better provision of support for local people in mental health crisis. Mind, the mental health charity, is calling for local services to deliver on their promise to improve the support for people who are suicidal, self-harming or in psychosis.

 

Royal is a former Trustee of Mind and a mental health campaigner who has raised over £3,000 for mental health charities through sponsored swims in recent years.  

 

Last year, national...

November 25, 2014

In a previous edition of H2Open magazine I wrote of my concern that the UK faced an inter-generational swimming crisis due to the lack of facilities and teaching (‘No Country For Young Swimmers’ June/July edition), and the very real threat of increased drowning incidents as a result.

 

Whilst I’ve been delighted at the response, the numbers sharing my concern confirms that a crisis is indeed on the cards. Despite this, I’ve been somewhat comforted by the efforts of several readers with existing effective initiatives to c...

October 29, 2014

In a previous edition of H2Open magazine I wrote of my concern that the UK faced an inter-generational swimming crisis due to the lack of facilities and teaching (‘No Country For Young Swimmers’ June/July edition), and the very real threat of increased drowning incidents as a result.

Whilst I’ve been delighted at the response, the numbers sharing my concern confirms that a crisis is indeed on the cards. Despite this, I’ve been somewhat comforted by the efforts of several readers with existing effective initiatives...

October 25, 2014

*Featured in Young Minds Magazine*

 

A brave swimmer has taken part in an audacious escape attempt from one of the world’s most notorious prisons to raise money for YoungMinds.

 

Richard Royal swam from Alcatraz Island, home to the ‘inescapable’ famous former federal prison, to the San Francisco mainland.

 

The iconic event is a 2.5k (1.5 miles or 100 continuous lengths of a standard pool) swim in the rough waters which can reach lows of 12c and in parts is over 100 metres deep. 

 

Alcatraz Island, also known as 'The Rock' wa...

March 24, 2014

In November last year I visited Cambodia, a bewildering array of dusty streets, endless fields and historic monuments. Water occupies a special place in the heart of Cambodians and in the country’s culture. Although it has a relatively short coastline, much of the country is low-lying and perpetually half-flooded, containing a portion of the mighty Mekong River and a 16km2 ‘Great Lake’. It even boasts a three-day ‘Water Festival’ which competes with New Year as the most important and exuberant national holiday.

 

Yet as...

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