Team Z camp provides important development for young divers

Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre hosted 19 of the nation’s upcoming divers for three days of development last weekend.

Swim England’s Team Z (Zone squad) divers attended their second training camp of 2024 which aims to support their preparation for the upcoming British Elite Junior Diving Championships and Swim England National Age Group Championships.

Both first and second year divers attended the camp from Friday 15 – Sunday 17 March where each age group had different focusses across the three days.

The first year divers on just their second camp – following the Diving Talent Games event back in November – were working on back and reverse dives whilst the second years looked to improve on their handstands and platform run ups.

The camp included a number of educational workshops including a session with Emma Wood on sport psychology, helping the athletes understand different emotions and how it could link to competition scenarios.

They also looked at health and robustness which gave the group some self-monitoring exercises which they can take back to their daily training environment to help with identifying movement range, flexibility and injury risks.

As well as the education sessions the weekend allowed them plenty of time for in pool and drydive training, as well as a diving ballet session. Swim England’s new head of coaching Craig McCulloch also attended the camp as Swim England Diving looks to drive new coaching opportunities in the future.

‘High skill level’

Speaking about the camp, Swim England Diving Programme Lead Connie Ford said: “The second Team Z training camp of the year was a great weekend for some of England and Scotland’s newest talent as well as the more experienced athletes who are reaching the end of the programme.

“The athletes were challenged with various exciting tasks over the weekend where the high skill level was evident throughout the sessions.

“We also had a number of incredible educational workshops where we also took the time to think about things we can do that ‘take no talent’ (TNT). The athletes came up with things like hydrating correctly, packing bags the night before and being prepared for sessions which will help the young group grow as people too.

“A massive thank you to all the coaches and staff who continue to support their development and to everyone at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre for welcoming us across the weekend.”

The next Team Z camp takes place in Birmingham at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre at the start of June.

You can find out more about the Swim England Diving Talent Pathway here and you can see the full list of divers and staff on the camp here.