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Jack Laugher hopes golden experience will inspire Swim England divers

Jack Laugher hopes to have inspired the next generation of Olympic British divers after giving Swim England’s Team Z youngsters the chance to hold the gold medal he won at the 2016 Rio Games.

A total of 22 athletes on the Swim England Talent pathway – and three guests from Scottish Swimming – attended a three-day training camp in Leeds, where they quizzed Laugher and his British team-mate Anthony Harding after watching them train.

Laugher, who won his Olympic gold medal in the Men’s 3m Synchronised competition alongside Chris Mears, encouraged the Team Z divers to ‘never give up’ in pursuit of their goals.

He said: “It means a lot to pass on my experiences, because I can remember, when I was roughly their age, Leon Taylor coming in and showing us his Olympic medal and telling us about his experiences as well.

“I think that was a really pivotal moment in my career – having someone to look up to and knowing that it is possible to do it.

“Hopefully they’ve taken something from it, hopefully they can learn something and maybe 10-15 years from now, they’ll be the people giving talks, which is really nice to think about.

“My piece of advice is to just never give up. Myself, Tony and everyone in this sport has had some really, really hard days and some hard times for quite a while. It’s about not giving up and keep pursuing what you want to do.

“You have your goals – just keep trying to achieve them and set new goals when you’ve reached those ones.”

Exciting journey ahead

Harding added: “I’ve spent a lot of time and hard work in this sport, so I want to share my experiences with the kids to help them learn and make them as good as what I am – and even better than me!”

The camp also saw divers takes part in ballet sessions, physical testing, goal setting and planning sessions.

And there were workshops for parents and coaches that covered a variety of topics, including nutritional advice.

Suzie Collins, Swim England Talent Development Officer for Diving, said: “The weekend’s camp was a real success.

“It was great to see our new Team Z athletes working alongside those who are starting their second year on the programme.

“The coaches and staff did a great job leading the sessions, which were focused on bouncing skills entries and basic dives.

“Our athletes were so excited to meet Jack and Anthony and to watch to senior Leeds divers train.

“Hearing Jack and Tony talk about their development through the talent programme and pathway showed the divers what an exciting journey they have ahead of them.”

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