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Diving Competitions in England

Once the basics are learned, you can then work towards your first diving competitions. Swim England and British Diving have developed a multi-level competition programme on both local and national level.

Diving competitions are skill-focused. To become a successful diver, athletes must have a complete diving skill set rather than just being able to perform a couple of dives.

The best way to get in to diving competitions is through a club. If you haven’t yet joined a diving club find out more here.

  1. If you are new to diving and want to find out more about the competitions which take place see the drop downs below.
  2. Or, head over to our national events calendar for a large list of diving competitions which take place throughout the year.

4 Levels of Diving Competitions in England

  1. Skills Competitions
  2. The Talent Games
  3. Regional and Club Competitions
  4. National Competitions

Skills Competitions

Skills competitions are the first level of competitive diving. They involve testing basic skills from the poolside, 1m springboard and 3m springboard.

Divers will be tested on the ‘rip’ they perform and their controlled take-offs.

The Talent Games

Children from either the Schools Talent ID scheme or regular Learn To Dive beginnings whose clubs have identified as having potential are prepared in a broad range of technical and physical events. Their training will be a mix of:

  • gymnastic training
  • technical dry dive training
  • physical preparation
  • dive training.

Children 11 years and under will compete for their clubs at the Talent Games. Each year the top divers will be selected for the England Programmes Zone Squad.

Regional And Club Competitions

The Swim England regions and clubs provide a number of competitions for divers who at this level will be undertaking between four and six training sessions per week. The sessions are between 2 – 3 hours long.

The main focus of age group diving must be physical and technical development. Learning complex diving skills is not a priority, but a strong competency in all of the diving groups. Gaining strong competency is essential before transition to elite competitive development.

Training sessions for divers at this level will often be split. 50% of their time will be spent on dry based technical and physical preparatory work and 50% water based activity developing dives.

National Diving Competitions

There are plenty of opportunities for the best divers in England and Great Britain to take on their contemporaries on the domestic stage.

The British Diving Championships is the highest level of competition and regularly features the likes of Tom Daley, Jack Laugher and Tonia Couch as they fine-tune their preparation for the summer’s major championships.

The other top senior competition is the National Cup which often kicks off the season, traditionally taking place in Southend.

There are two national level junior events on the domestic calendar – the British Elite Junior Diving Championships and the Swim England Diving National Age Group Championships.

The standard to enter the British Junior Elites is the highest and the British team for the European Junior Championships is often selected from results at this event.

Meanwhile, the Swim England Diving National Age Group Championships is the pinnacle of national competition for age group divers in England – click here to find out more on the official event website.

Alternatively, head to our Results page for more information about these national competitions.

Are there eligibility restrictions for national diving competitions?

Once an athlete has competed at the Swim England Diving National Age Group Champs, they become ineligible – except in certain circumstances – to compete at the Swim England Diving National Skills Finals, the step below NAGs.

Similarly, divers who have competed at either the British Diving Championships or the British Elite Junior Diving Championships are ineligible to compete at a NAG Champs.

What are the age groups at diving competitions?

You may have seen reference to Groups A, B, C, D and E at various levels of junior diving competition in the UK and abroad.

These groups reflect the ages of divers competing in that event and are commonly used in England, including at the National Age Group Championships and National Skills Finals.

Diving age groups are established from a diver’s age on 31 December of the year of competition.

National Age Group Championships groups:

  • Group A – 16 / 17 / 18 Yrs
  • Group B – 14 / 15 Yrs
  • Group C – 12 / 13 Yrs
  • Group D – 9 / 10 / 11 Yrs

National Skills Finals groups:

  • Group A – 16 / 17 / 18 Yrs
  • Group B – 14 / 15 Yrs
  • Group C2 – 13 Yrs
  • Group C1 – 12 Yrs
  • Group D2 – 11 Yrs
  • Group D1 – 10 Yrs
  • Group E – 8 / 9 Yrs