Olympic hopefuls to take the plunge at Ponds

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Sheffield is continuing to play a key role in the run up to London 2012 after it was announced that the Olympic diving trials will take place in the city.

Ponds Forge will host the trials from June 8-12 as part of the ASA British Gas National Diving Championships 2012 – the last chance for the country’s top divers to qualify for the Olympics.

Expected to take part in the event are Tom Daley, Pete Waterfield, Sarah Barrow, Tonia Crouch, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, as well as Sheffield-based divers Ben Swain, Nick Robinson-Baker, Megan Sylvester and Monique Gladding.

Ponds Forge, which is operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV), was recently awarded funding from Sport England to carry out work on the diving boards, with the 10 metre and five metre boards being extended to three metres wide.

This enables high performance synchronized diving to take place and also means that technical measurements can be taken during diving coaching to assist with the development of the divers’ skills.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV, said: “Sheffield has a strong reputation for sporting excellence and hosting the Olympic trials for our country’s best divers only serves to showcase this.

“Further investment in our facilities also means we are able to provide the very best, not only for our own local athletes who use Ponds Forge as a training base, but for national and international sporting stars who participate in the major events that are hosted at the venue throughout the year.”

It was announced last year that the US Olympic diving team will use Ponds Forge as their training base in preparation for the London Games.