Worlingworth's Dean Richards through to Rebel Strength’s Britain’s Strongest Novice Final
“Normally I’m the smallest guy that turns up and no one bats an eye lid.”
That is how Dean Richards’ competitors view his arrival at strongman competitions, but it is often a foolish one.
The 30-year-old, who lives in Worlingworth, claimed second place in the recent Suffolk’s Strongest Novice competition, held in Sudbury last month.
It was a finish which earned him a place in the prestigious Rebel Strength’s Britain’s Strongest Novice Final in September.
For Richards, qualifying for the national competition is his biggest achievement in a sport which he first took up only three years ago.
“I’ve been training for nine years, and competing for the last three years,” he said. “My uncle (Jason) and father (Anthony) used to compete back in the day.
“My uncle’s got a cabinet full of trophies and my old chap has got a lot of trophies as well.
“I thought ‘I’ll try and do that myself’, I’ve always liked going to the gym, so my uncle took me under his wing and it went from there.”
Early successes soon followed for Richards, as he started to enter competitions across Suffolk and Norfolk, yet he still feels that he can often go ‘under the radar’ when he turns up to compete.
“Normally, when I go to these events, I’m the smallest guy that turns up,” he said.
“No one pays attention to me. When I turned up to one in King’s Lynn recently, no one batted an eye lid. I’m 16 and a half stone, so I’m one of the smallest, and I can go under the radar a little bit and finish on the podium.
“It’s funny, sometimes when I do well, people start to take more notice and come up to me and talk to me, but I’m quite a casual bloke. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet.”
During the week, Richards trains at Stradbroke Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre, while at the weekends, under the watchful eye of his uncle Jason, he takes his training to Diss Fit Club.
With a place at Britain’s Strongest Novice Final to look forward to later this year, Richards has no other events planned in the build-up as yet, instead focusing on his training and, away from the weights, buying his first house.
“Suffolk’s Strongest Novice was a qualifier for Britain’s Strongest Novice, qualifying for that is definitely the height of my career so far,” he said.
“I’ve just bought my first house, which has obviously taken up more of my time, but now that’s all sorted, I’ll make sure I step it up in training so that I’m ready when September comes around.”