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British youngsters have ‘high aspirations’ at European Junior Diving Championships

Twelve young divers have ‘high aspirations’ as they take part in the LEN European Junior Diving Championships in Croatia this week.

The team includes a number of divers who helped Great Britain finish second in the medal table at the last European Junior Diving Championships in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.

Injuries mean it is the smallest British squad travelling to the competition in more than a decade but team leader, and British Diving talent and development manager, Julian Bellan, said they were relishing the opportunity.

The championships in Rijeka kicks off with the jump event final on Monday 21 June and concludes on Sunday 27 June.

Despite the lack of competitive opportunities over the last 18 months, Julian said the team were ready for the event having completed their final preparations before heading to Croatia at the Olympic pool Stratford.

He said: “After a challenging 18 months, where the majority of divers have had little or no pool training due to the limited opportunities during the lockdown periods, it’s great to be in a position we are able to travel to Croatia with a team for the European Junior Diving Championships.

Working towards world juniors

“Throughout lockdowns, the squad undertook virtual training with their coaches and the national team. 

“The national squad programme was called Live@5 and delivered virtual training online via the zoom platform for 18 months with more than 150 bespoke training sessions including virtual ballet, yoga, technical and physical workouts.

“This event comes only 10 weeks after many of the divers returned to water-based training in April, and although the aspirations of the team remain high, the team has had challenges and a number of divers are unable to travel due to injuries in recent weeks. 

“This team of 12 divers is the smallest team to attend the Euros in more than a decade, with the overriding majority of the squad in the younger 14-16 age group category. 

“It is hoped the squad will develop as we work towards the world juniors, which take place in Kiev this coming December.”

Swim England diving talent officer, Suzie Collins, added: “The team are really excited for the event to start today. They all feel incredibly lucky to be competing here in Croatia after no face-to-face competition for so long. It’s fantastic to see so many nations here to compete.”

GB divers competing in the European Junior Diving Championships

  • Leon Baker (B Boys 1m, 3m and 3m synchro)
  • Maisie Bond (B Girls platform)
  • Tilly Brown (B Girls 1m, 3m and 3m synchro)
  • Ben Cutmore (A Boys Platform, Platform Synchro)
  • Cameron Gammage (A Boys 1m, 3m)
  • Tyler Humphreys (A Boys 1m, 3m, 3m Synchro)
  • Euan McCabe (B Boys 1m, Platform)
  • Hannah Newbrook (B Girls platform)
  • Amy Rollinson (A Girls 1m, 3m, 3m Synchro)
  • Evie Smith (B Girls 1m, 3m, 3m synchro)
  • Hugo Thomas (B Boys 3m)
  • Josie Zillig (A Girls Platform)