British Diving Championships: Thirteen Sheffield athletes as young as 14 to compete at Ponds Forge

Thirteen Sheffield athletes as young as 14 will compete in the British Diving Championships at Ponds Forge this weekend.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 5:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 5:19 pm

The senior edition of diving’s biggest domestic competition returns to the city for the first time since 2016 and will see 71 divers from across the UK take part from Friday to Sunday.

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The event will also serve as a qualifier for this summer's Commonwealth Games, with City of Sheffield Diving Club hoping to send three of their elite members to Birmingham 2022.

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Tom Owens, head coach at City of Sheffield Diving Club, oversees a training session at Ponds Forge.

Head coach Tom Owens said: “It’s great to have a national championship back at Ponds Forge. I’m really optimistic we are going to have a really positive week in the pool.

"It’s not an easy sport to compete in, lots can happen, but they are looking good. They have been training well, all the athletes are in good shape, so fingers crossed.”

Oscar Willcox will be Sheffield’s youngest representative at 14.

He won four medals at the British Elite Junior Diving Championships last month to qualify for July’s European Junior Championships in Bucharest, Romania alongside 15-year-old Maisie Bond, who will also represent Sheffield this weekend.

“It’s a good sized team to have at a senior national championships,” added Tom.

"We have got some young guys in there who are doing well, some guys who have really stuck it out and made some real improvements, and we have got some guys at the top.”

He continued: “As a club we are fielding one of the largest teams and that’s great.”

This weekend’s event kicks off a potentially packed summer schedule for Sheffield’s elite divers.

The World Aquatics Championships take place next month followed by the Commonwealth Games at the beginning of August before the European Aquatics Championships later that month.

"The calendar over the next few weeks brings about some challenges but because it’s been so stop-start over the last two-and-a-half years they are all keen to compete and get out there,” said Tom.

But first, their focus is closer to home.

Tom added: "It’s good for the city and the athletes here.

"Ponds Forge went through a lot during Covid, the guys here are doing the best they can to make sure it’s a really good event.

"We would like to get more events coming back here, particularly in the diving pool.”

The full City of Sheffield team is as follows: Clare Cryan, Tia McGarry, Lucy Hawkins, Yasmin Harper, Holly May Prasanto, Grace Ally, Richelle Houlden, Jordan Houlden, Katie Garner, Maisie Bond, Isaac Trueman-Marsden, Declan Rohan, Oscar Wilcox.

Tickets for the event can be bought HERE.