Squeaks, shrieks and smiles as pupils are Inspired to Try diving for first time

More than 200 youngsters have tried out diving for the first time as part of the Black Country Festival of Swimming.

Pupils from 16 primary schools in the West Midlands took part in the event, which gave them the chance to take part in swimming, diving, water polo and artistic swimming.

It is the first time that diving has featured on the programme and was the first of four Dive West Midlands Inspired to Try sessions that are planned over the coming months.

The Dive West Midlands project aims to raise awareness of the sport in the region before, during and after this summer’s Commonwealth Games – and, ultimately, increase the number of people taking part in diving.

Olympian Sarah Barrow, Swim England’s West Midlands diving development officer, and Tudor Grange LC Diving Coach, Gemma Queenborough, led the first session at Walsall Gala Baths.

It involved coaching the years five and six pupils before they had the opportunity to jump in poolside and from the 1m springboard.

Sarah said: “It was fantastic to see so many youngsters have a go at diving for the first time.

Smile on their face

“Amongst the squeaks and shrieks from jumping and diving in to the water, each child left with a smile on their face with some even asking to jump from a higher platform. 

“The awareness that diving is coming to the West Midlands is improving and being highlighted in the Region wherever possible.”

Places can now be booked on two further Inspired to Try sessions.

These will take place at the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, Solihull, on Thursday 28 July and Wyndley Leisure Centre, Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday 9 August.

They are open to people of all ages, with some of the free 30-minute slots only available to those with a disability or learning difficulty.

A further date is being planned in Shrewsbury but final details are still to be confirmed.

To book a place and find out more, please click here.