Sheffield diving sensation aged just 14 tipped to win Olympic medals with Paris 2024 in sight
A teenage diving sensation from Sheffield has been tipped to win Olympic medals after making a splash at international level.
Maisie Bond from Broomhill is just 14 but has been diving since the age of five. She recently left mainstream education to study online and dedicate more time to her training at City of Sheffield Diving Club, based at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
The youngster will represent Great Britain at the 2021 European Junior Diving Championships in Rijeka, Croatia from 22 to 27 June, having already tasted success at national and international events.
She also competed at senior level in the 2020 national championships and finished fifth in the preliminary round.
"It’s very exciting,” said Maisie’s coach Tom Owens, who will accompany her to Rijeka.
“Talent like Maisie’s doesn’t come around very often. Diving is very natural for her and it gives you an opportunity to try and craft towards those perfect executions scoring nines and tens.”
Maisie is national champion in all events for her age category and receives funding from UK Sport’s World Class Programme, which supports the UK’s most talented athletes deemed to have “medal-winning capabilities”.
Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill, who won heptathlon gold at London 2012, is a former recipient of the Programme.
"We talk about Olympic medals,” said Tom, “that’s what we are aiming for in the long run.
"It’s not as easy as that but that’s certainly what we are gunning for. We are on track for moving to the top levels of the sport.”
Tom Daley was just 14 when he represented Team GB at the 2008 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal at London 2012.
"There’s high hopes,” Tom added. “She’s young but she’s stayed focused and worked hard during this Covid year.
"Both her parents are extremely supportive. Her mum Anita has been ferrying her around during the pandemic because we have been in Leeds then Sheffield, then Leeds and Sheffield again.”
The club, which until this year had produced at least one Olympian at every games since 1992, was forced to leave its Ponds Forge base twice in the last 12 months when the facility closed during lockdowns.