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World's top divers help inspire next generation Live at Five

Some of the world’s top divers have been inspiring youngsters on the Swim England Talent Pathway during a daily ‘Live at Five’ Zoom call.

A total of 80 sessions have been run over 16 weeks by Suzie Collins, Swim England Talent Development Officer – Diving, in partnership with British Diving’s Talent & Development Manger, Julian Bellan.

Up to 55 youngsters attended the sessions each night and there were guest appearances from Great Britain’s Jack Laugher, Matthew Dixon, Lois Toulson, Dan Goodfellow, Yasmin Harper, Maria Papworth, Scarlett Mew Jensen, Katherine Torrance, Anthony Harding, Grace Reid and Gemma McArthur throughout the 16 weeks.

International divers such as Costantin Popovici, from Romania, Clare Cryan, from Ireland, and Jamaica’s Yona Knight Wisdom have also attended.

Athletes from the England talent pathway, along with British Diving’s Junior Squad, have been taking part in core conditioning sessions with Julian, ballet with Josh Devine, circuit conditioning, yoga with Leon Taylor as well as technical diving specific sessions.

In addition to these, the team have had the opportunity to quiz senior divers at question and answer sessions.

Live at Five has also featured nutrition workshops from EIS Nutritionist Louise Bloor and psychology workshops from Performance psychologist Laura Cosgrove.

Packed programme

Suzie said: “The Live at Five sessions have proved to be very popular.

“We were keen to ensure our young divers remained motivated throughout lockdown and they have been extremely enthusiastic during every session.

“It has been fantastic to see divers who are just starting out their journey on the pathway training alongside divers who have transitioned through the Swim England Talent Pathway on to British teams.

“I’d like to thank all the senior divers who got involved with Live at Five and helped to inspire these youngsters, who look up to them.

“It’s been a packed programme but we’re taking break for now while we look into what the new normal for diving looks like as pools reopen.”

Team Z divers were also treated to a virtual camp which was attended by American diver Laura Wilkinson, who won gold in the 10m Platform at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The camp covered team building, visualisation, conditioning as well as a handstand session led by coach Ashley Hendrick.

Suzie was also quick to praise the coaching team that helped throughout the Live at Five sessions adding: “They have all been integral to the sessions and have been amazing on delivery.”