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How young diver Jed Brown ‘maximised every opportunity’ during lockdown

As part of the Swim England #YourMembershipCounts campaign, we have been finding out how our clubs and members have stayed engaged with their sport, coped with the challenges of 2020 and their hopes for the future.

He’s amazed and inspired his family and ensured the challenges of two national lockdowns wouldn’t prevent him from developing as a diver – at the tender age of 10!

Determined Jed Brown faced up the difficult situation faced by everyone in 2020 and set out to improve his skills, despite not being able to train at Southampton Diving Academy – and he’s certainly made the most of it.

He decided to set himself some personal goals to keep his fitness levels up and develop his technical ability at the beginning of what turned out to be a very long few months.

Jed explained: “These included being able to hold a one-minute handstand, perform a straddle-up handstand, run 5k, practise diving skills and include a workout in my daily schedule.

“I created a timetable for myself which helped me to work on – and achieve – all of these goals. I knew I was getting stronger as the weeks went by but I still wanted to keep up my diving technique.

“I regularly practised all the necessary diving drills and used my trampoline to keep my spinning going. My handstands have now really improved.”

Prior to the first lockdown, Jed was training eight hours a week – five in the pool and three hour long dry-land sessions.

His training has now increased by almost three hours a week, a change that has occurred after he made sure to continue his development throughout the lockdown.

He said: “I feel I have really used lockdown to my advantage.

Strength of character

“It has taught me that if I put my mind to something and work hard, with enough effort, I can achieve more than I thought.

“Diving certainly takes a lot of determination and lockdown showed me how to maximise every opportunity.

“I love diving because the thrill of it is like no other feeling!

Jed’s proud mum, Clare, said his actions during the lockdown had ‘inspired’ the entire family.

“I can honestly say that Jed has shown a strength of character during lockdown that has amazed us,” she said. “His sheer determination to keep going and to return to the pool stronger and better surprised us all.

“Jed coped really well during both lockdowns. He used the extra time he had at home to work on skills he wanted to improve.

“This gave him something to focus on and, as he saw himself improving, he became even more motivated.

“He is the most determined member of the family and inspired us all with his hard-working attitude.

“When he returned to diving he was definitely stronger and is more determined than ever to improve and learn new dives – he is so passionate about his sport – more than ever now!”

Jed expressed how he felt really supported and ‘encouraged’ by his club over the last few months.

Daily challenges

“There were weekly Zoom workout sessions with our coaches which helped maintain my fitness as well as helping me still feel connected to my club,” he said.

“Our club Facebook page had daily challenges set by Lindsey Fraser (Southampton’s diving development officer) which were fun.

“It was great seeing my friend’s photos of them attempting the challenges too! We even had a SEEDS (South East England Diving Scheme) camp online which was a great success.

“During the second lockdown, I have really enjoyed the Swim England ballet and yoga sessions – it’s great to do something different.”

Unfortunately, a competition Jed was due to travel to in Norway in March was cancelled following the surge in coronavirus cases.

He had also qualified for the National Age Group Championships, which he was very excited to be taking part in.

However, his optimistic outlook means that he is viewing these setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow even further.

“Because there have been no competitions, when we returned to diving I was able to learn many new and difficult dives,” he said.

“This has been so exciting and is something that may not have happened otherwise.”

Jed’s hopes for the future include perfecting the new dives he has learned – and being able to compete again at a national level.