'Legend' Derek Beaumont receives recognition of thanks

Diving judge and former coach Derek Beaumont has been described as a ‘legend’ after receiving a recognition of thanks from the Swim England Diving Leadership Group.

Derek has been an influential figure in the sport of diving for more than half a century, progressing from an athlete to a judge, coach and committee member.

He was presented with the honour at the 2020 British Diving Championships in Plymouth.

Derek said: “It really was a surprise. I actually wasn’t due to be judging that session but was asked to walk out with the judges’ procession to poolside – I’m overwhelmed.

“I’m not talking about myself specifically, but it’s nice to see when volunteers are recognised.

“However, the greatest reward for me has always been to be able to see athletes improve and support them in the process.”

Leaving a legacy

Derek has judged at European, World and Olympic level, also coaching Lindsey Fraser at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

He helped produce nine Olympians out of the Hatfield Swim Centre, where he founded the Beaumont Diving Academy in 1968.

Derek’s achievements were brought to the fore in 2014, when he won the BBC’s Unsung Hero Award for the East region of England.

In that same year, he was also named as Swim England’s Volunteer Teacher/Coach of the Year.

Reflecting on that honour, he said: “It was great to win the award because of the other nominees that I beat.

“There were some really strong candidates in there and for me to take the title ahead of them was amazing.

“For me, it was a bigger deal for me because it was a national title. The BBC Unsung Hero Award was special and it got coverage from BBC Look East, but I will treasure the [Swim England] award more.”

Legend of the sport

Suzie Collins, Swim England Talent Development Officer for Diving, said: “I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this than Derek.

“He truly is a legend within our sport and I know many of us have enjoyed hearing his diving tales of years gone by.

“It has been a real pleasure to work alongside him as part of the Diving Leadership Group and it’s great to see him continuing to give back to the sport up in the judging chair!”