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Naomi Joy Riches[1] MBE (born on 15 June 1983) is a British adaptive rower who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Personal life[edit]

Riches was born on 15 June 1983 in Hammersmith, London, England.[2]She attended Cannon Lane school as a child. She is registered blind and is classified for competition in the B3 category.[3][4] She competed for Harrow in the London Youth Games as a disability swimmer.[5] At the age of 12 she was a National Disabled Swimming champion.[2]

She attended the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) College in Worcester.[2] She graduated from Buckinghamshire New University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in metalwork and jewellery design.[2][6]


Riches took up rowing whilst at the RNIB College in Worcester.[2] She competes in the legs, trunks and arms adaptive mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) event. She won gold medals in the event at the 2004, 2005 and 2006 World Rowing Championships and won silver in 2007.[7]

She was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics held in Beijing, China, as rowing made its debut at the Games. Competing with Alastair McKean, Vicki Hansford, and James Morgan, along with cox Alan Sherman she won a bronze medal in the mixed coxed four.[3][8]

Riches won a further world title in 2009, alongside Hansford, David Smith, James Roe and cox Rhiannon Jones.[9] At the 2010 World Championships she won a silver medal competing with Smith, Roe, Ryan Chamberlain and Jones.[10] He is visually impaired.[2]

In 2011 she competed at the at World Rowing Championships held at Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia. She won the gold medal in the LTAMix4+ event alongside crewmates Pam Relph, David Smith, James Roe and Lily van den Broecke, the cox.[2][11] They completed the one kilometre course in a time of three minutes, 27.10 seconds, finishing nearly five seconds ahead of the second placed Canadian boat. The result qualified a boat for Great Britain into the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[12] The crew repeated their gold medal result at the Munich World Cup event in 2012.[2]

Riches was selected along with Relph, Smith, Roe and van den Broeke, to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in the mixed coxed four event.[13] The event took place between 31 August and 2 September at Eton Dorney,[14] and the GB crew won the gold medal.

She was inducted into the London Youth Games Hall of Fame in 2012.

Riches was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GRO reference: June 1983, Vol. 12, Page 1989
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Naomi Riches". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Naomi's bronze disappointment". Harrow Observer. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Riches inspired by Olympic crews". BBC Sport. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.londonyouthgames.org/page.asp?section=23&sectionTitle=Hall+of+Fame Hall of Fame retrieved 2013-02-19
  6. ^ "Students row their way into the London 2012 Paralympic Games". London Higher. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "In the Spotlight: Naomi Riches". UK Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Britons in historic rowing double". BBC Sport. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Gough, Martin (29 August 2009). "Britain win two golds at Worlds". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "James Roe". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "World Rowing: GB mixed coxed four win adaptive gold". BBC Sport. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Wham, bam thank you Pam as rower gets gold to set up London 2012 dream". The Bucks Herald. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "2012 Paralympics: GB rowing's mixed coxed four - who's who?". BBC Sport. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 25. 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ [1] Cabinet Office

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20 news items


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Paralympic rower Naomi Riches is one beneficiary of the test. She won a bronze medal in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics and a gold in the London 2012 games, and Mr Reed says the oarswoman credited a psychometric test with her development. “She said it ...

Bucks Free Press

Bucks Free Press
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Paralympic star to give business talk. GOLD medallist rower Naomi Riches will address a gathering of Marlow businesspeople later this month at their regular get together. The Paralympic champion, who has recently retired from competition, will talk ...
Maidenhead Advertiser
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 04:48:45 -0700

Rowing champion Naomi Riches, who lives in Marlow, visited the school in Churchill Close on Friday to unveil 'Aman's Sensory Garden.' Aman Khalil suffered from a neuromuscular disease and died in 2009 following a chest infection. Aman's former ...

Bucks Free Press

Bucks Free Press
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:15:00 -0700

A PARALYMPIC gold-medal winner joined Flackwell Heath pupils last week to open a new sensory garden. The garden at Juniper Hill School was officially opened by gold-medal winner, Naomi Riches, last Friday, April 4. Miss Riches, a former Bucks New ...

Maidenhead Advertiser

Maidenhead Advertiser
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 02:33:45 -0700

Lending her own support was Paralympian gold medallist Naomi Riches MBE. Firstly she had the difficult task of picking the person in the best bunny outfit. Faced with the choice between two impressive 'white rabbits' straight out of Alice in Wonderland ...

Henley Standard

Henley Standard
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 02:26:46 -0700

The evening was compered by broadcaster Steve Rider and joining Olympic rowers Redgrave and Grainger on the panel were former All Blacks star Zinzan Brooke and Paralympians Naomi Riches and Hattie Little. Each panellist was asked a series of ...

Bucks Free Press

Bucks Free Press
Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:10:06 -0700

... weekend by winning gold at the scene of Team GB's London 2012 triumphs. The club clinched two golds at the Oarsport Junior Sculling Head event at Eton Dorney, where members Katherine Grainger and Naomi Riches topped the podium two years ago.
Maidenhead Advertiser
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 05:58:37 -0700

Paralympic gold medal winning rower, Naomi Riches, who is also hoping to participate, will be awarding prizes. The event will raise money for Rotary charities as well as the nominated charities of sponsored runners. Visit bunnyfunrun.co.uk to register ...

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