Sheffield diver Millie Haffety takes a year out of education to target a place in Tokyo Olympics

Millie Haffety has juggled exams with training. Photo: onEdition
Millie Haffety has juggled exams with training. Photo: onEdition
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Sheffield Diving prodigy Millie Haffety is taking a year out from education in 2018 as she focuses on her dream of competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

It’s been a mixed year for the young diver as she’s juggled A-Level exams with a tough training schedule and competing in both junior and senior events.

I’m going to focus on diving and give it my all - my main target next season is to qualify for more senior international events

The 18-year-old is transitioning to senior level and is already making her mark as she narrowly missed out on bronze at the Diving Grand Prix in Canada in April.

Clashes with exams meant Haffety was unable to compete at the Senior European Championships this year, a factor that’s no doubt influenced her decision to focus on diving next year.

“I want to go to university at some point but I’m going to take a year out to focus on diving and give my all to it,” said Haffety.

“I really hope my A-Level exams went well but it’s hard to tell to be honest, my main target for next season is to qualify for more senior international events.

“The Canada Grand Prix was my second senior international which was quite scary because I’ve moved up from being a junior this year.

“But I went there and dived really well which was quite surprising, I didn’t expect to do so well so that was good, that was the highlight of my year.

“The conditions are different at seniors, you do less dives but they’re your hard dives, I prefer the conditions with the seniors, it just seems to suit me better which is good for the future.”

The Silverdale School pupil is one of Great Britain’s brightest diving hopes and with her season now completed she hopes to do well in national championships in 2018 which will lead to international competitions.

Haffety trains six hours a day on weekdays and often Saturdays too. She will be taking a coaching course in August so that she can teach juniors in the evenings and has benefitted in the past from being part of the SSE Next Generation Scheme.

She said: “Last year I went to the London Aquatics Centre to do an interview for SSE so that was really cool.

“The funding’s been really helpful, to be on the GB junior team you have to reach certain criteria and I hadn’t met that before I got funding.

“Not all trips are funded by British Diving so the SSE scheme helped with that, you also get physios and nutritionists so that’s really helpful.

“One time I was meant to go a workshop but I was in a competition so my dad went instead, he got a picture with Chris Hoy so he was pretty happy about that.”

* Since 2013, SSE is proud to make a difference to young people, their families and their communities, by investing in the future of sporting talent through the SSE Next Generation scheme. Keep up to date @YourSSE