Sheffield Diving took a huge squad of 52 divers to the North East Regional Diving Grand Prix Leg 1 in Leeds over the weekend, for the first competitive event of the New Year. The single day competition involved divers from the top elite echelon, junior elites and national age group levels; from age 10 to adult. It was a tremendously successful day for Sheffield, with the team coming away with a total of 22 medals: 6 gold, 7 silver and 9 bronze. The first event was the Men’s and Women’s Open Platform competition. Tia McGarry took silver and Jenna Davison won bronze for Sheffield’s women, whilst the men took a clean sweep at the top, winning gold through Conrad Lewandowski, silver through Owen Harrison and bronze through Joseph Pashley. The next medals came in the Boy’s and Girl’s Group B Platform event. For the girls, Amelia Scott took the top prize gold medal and in the boy’s competition Declan Rogan won gold and Nathaniel Greig took silver. Rogan’s success was the story of the day for Sheffield, as it was his first competition following many months of recovery after suffering multiple fractures of his right leg in training last year. Following this, Hannah Blake took bronze in the Girls Group C 3m springboard event. The second clean sweep of the medals came in the Girls Group E2/D 3m springboard competition. Gold was won by Etta Dodsworth, silver by Lucy Maltby and bronze by Hannah Gowan. Gold also went to Archie Biggin in the Boy’s event in the same age group. Further medals were won in the Men’s and Women’s Open 1m springboard events. For the women, Yasmin Harper won silver and Evie Webb took bronze, whilst for the men silver went to Jordan Houlden and bronze was won by Jack Haslam. The day neared its close with a third clean sweep of the medals, in the Boy’s C 3m springboard competition. Oscar Willcox won the gold, Lewis Neilson the silver and Theo Wellington took the bronze. Finally, the bronze medal in the Girl’s A Platform event was well won by Charis Bell. It was a hugely successful event for Sheffield Diving, winning two-thirds of the available medals on the day. All divers in the squad deserve recognition for their efforts, including Grace Ally, Maisie Bond, Sephora Ford, Jessica Vega, Harrison Case, Adam Charity, Harrison Hartley, Oliver Hoban, Isaac Trueman-Marsden, Millie-Rose Hartley, Daisy Fowler, Katie Garner, Sophie Lewis, Alice Prescott, Eleanor Turner, Sohie Mae Hancox, Jessica Ireland, Lola Mead, Gabrielle Vickers, Chloe Strutt, Fern Hitchen, Richelle Houlden, Holly Prasanto, Frankie Curtis, Ross Haslam, Jack Burrows and Ned Curtis.
Sheffield Diving took a strong squad of 19 divers to the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh over the weekend, to compete in the prestigious Scottish National and Open Diving Championships. The four-day competition began with the synchronized diving events. Joseph Pashley and Frankie Curtis dived with strength and authority to take Silver in the Men’s 3m springboard event, whilst Owen Harrison, with his diving partner Brandon Foster of Southampton Diving Academy, won Bronze in the Men’s Platform, competing against a tough field that was won by Tom Daley and Matty Lee. The team’s first Gold medals came on Day Two, through Maisie Bond in the Girls C 3m springboard event and Jordan Houlden in the Mens 1m springboard. Maisie’s achievement was all the more remarkable as she was “diving up”, i.e. competing in the age group above the one she actually belongs in. Equally, for Jordan this was a fantastic result, coming after a two year lay-off due to injury and posting a new club record score of 414.60 in this event. Bronze medals were taken by Harrison Hartley in the Boys B 1m, Amelia Scott (taking part in her first elite competition) in the Girls B 3m, Joseph Pashley in the Boys A 1m and Jessica Vega in the Girls A 3m. The third day saw more medals in the bag for Team Sheffield. Maisie Bond took her second Gold in the Girls C Platform event, with the help of an inward two-and-a-half somersaults in tuck from 7.5 metres, scoring a superb 62.10 points. Jordan Houlden also medaled again, with Silver in the Mens 3m competition. Further Silvers were won by Grace Ally in the Girls B Platform event, and by Oliver Hoban in the Boys A 3m who scored an impressive 448.30 points. Three more medals were added to the tally on the last day of competition. The team’s fourth Gold went to Owen Harrison in the Boys A Platform event, with a huge score of 450.40. Also in the Boys A Platform event, Joseph Pashley won his third medal of the meet by taking Bronze, with two notable scores of 67.20 for an inward three-and-a-half somersaults in tuck and 67.50 for a forward three-and-a-half somersaults in tuck. Finally, also winning her third medal was Maisie Bond, this time with a Silver in the Girls C 1m competition, but completing her domination of the age group. It was another hugely successful event for Sheffield Diving, with a total of 4 Gold medals, 5 Silver and 6 Bronze. All divers in the squad deserve recognition for their efforts, including Jack Burrows, Theo Wellington, Oscar Willcox, Lewis Neilson, Sephora Ford, Isaac Trueman-Marsden, Lucy Hawkins, Elliott Dillon, Harrison Case and Yasmin Harper.
Sheffield Diving took a squad of 9 young divers to the John Charles Sports Centre in Leeds over the weekend, to join 64 other divers from 14 clubs in the biggest testing event in the country. The two-day competition puts the divers through a series of physical and technical tests designed to hone in on the most accomplished diving talent, with a view to inviting the best youngsters to join the Swim England Diving Team Z. This two-year programme supports the divers through a series of training camps and aims to prepare them for the prestigious Junior Elite Championships at the end of the period. The first day consisted of dry-land skills only, which included physical testing of strength, balance and agility, dry-board skills and a diving-based gymnastics routine. The awards were presented by Olympic and Commonwealth Champion diver Jack Laugher and it was a successful day for Sheffield, with the team claiming 5 medals: Gold for Sebastian Willcox in the Boys E category; Silver for Hannah Gowan in Girls E and for Sophie Hancox in Girls D; and Bronze for Archie Biggin in Boys D and Etta Dodsworth in Girls D. Also in the top 6 were Theo Wellington (Boys D) and Jessica Ireland (Girls D). Day 2 was the day for finally getting wet as the competition moved to the pool and gave the children the chance to show off their skills from the 1m, 3m and 5m boards. Sheffield bagged another set of medals, with Sebastian Willcox wining his second Gold in Boys E. Also winning Gold was Hannah Gowan in Girls E, while Theo Wellington took Sheffield’s third podium place with a Bronze in the Boys D category. A top 6 place was achieved by Jessica Ireland in Girls D. The results were then totaled up from both days of the competition to give the overall combined rankings, bringing further success to Sheffield. Sebastian Willcox (Boys E) was awarded his third Gold, with Hannah Gowan (Girls E) also achieving Gold overall. Bronze was awarded to Archie Biggin (Boys D) and top 6 places went to Sophie Hancox and Jessica Ireland (Girls D) and Theo Wellington (Boys D). Great performances from Chloe Strutt and Lucy Maltby also made an important contribution to the squad result.
Sheffield Diving took a team of 4 divers to the Great British Diving Federation Championships in Tunbridge Wells and were joined by 2 divers from Maltby. The Winter Masters is traditionally a less serious competition, with an emphasis put on versatility. Divers must use all three board heights: 1m and 3m springboards and the 5m platform. The first day was the day of the main competition and saw the combined team win a total of 4 medals. Neeltje Stuurman took Bronze in the Women’s 40-49 event with a score of 174.69, while Rich Robinson (Men’s 30-39) also achieved Bronze, scoring 160.95. Representing COSDC for the first time, Iain St. John came away with Gold in the Men’s 16-29 event with a score of 204.95, which was particularly noteworthy as he only decided the day before to compete a new dive, 405C on 3m springboard. Another great performance came from Nick Samaniego in the Men’s 50-59 event. Although Nick’s focus was to simply come along and take part without the worry of contending for medals, he actually won Gold with a score of 155.45. Paul Rhodes of Maltby, in the Men’s 50-59, came a creditable 5th. Day 2 is focussed more on fun and trying new things. There are three types of event: the “Fun” competition, in which only feet-first entries are allowed and must be performed from 2 differing board heights; the “Challenge” competition, where the dive that all divers must perform each round is drawn out of a hat; and the Synchro competition, in which 2 different board heights must be used and 1 dive must be in opposing directions. In the Fun competition, Iain took another Gold, Rich took Silver and, much to her own surprise, Neeltje won Bronze. Neeltje was also in contention for another Bronze in the Synchro, paired with Rich. This was a new pairing and Rich’s first synchro competition, for which the pair had only been training a few weeks. They performed incredibly consistently, scoring between 6s and 8s every round and finishing in 4th place, higher than either of them had expected to reach. The divers wished to record their thanks to their coach, Russ Preece, and to Chris Long of Maltby Diving Club, for their support in a fun, well-run and successful event.