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Team Z divers experience new Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Twenty-Two of Team Z’s divers took part in a diving camp at the brand new Sandwell Aquatics Centre on the weekend of the 21 to 22 May.

The Sandwell Aquatics Centre is the only new venue for the summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and will host eleven days of swimming, para-swimming and diving events from the 29 July to the 8 August.

Divers, from seven clubs, were able to get a peek at the brand new facilities, including the new drydive gym which contains a foam pit, two trampolines, five dryboards and a diving platform, as well as a sprung floor.

Nine coaches joined the divers at camp, with sessions being led by lead coaches Georgia Davenport – City of Sheffield Diving Club – and Marc Holdsworth from the City of Leeds Diving Club.

Team Z is the first step on the Swim England Diving talent pathway. It provides divers the opportunity to take part in a seven camps across a two-year programme.

For the camp at Sandwell the first year divers focussed on front and inward skills as they looked to improve on the four key stages of a dive, take off, flight, come out and entry.

Those in their second year focused on preparing for the next level of the talent pathway, Team Y. They looked to improve on their fundamental skills, entries, bouncing skill chains and the required dives to take themselves to the next level.

An incredible opportunity

The camp ran alongside the Commonwealth Games ‘prep the pool’ test event which gave the divers a fantastic opportunity to experience of what it will be like at a large scale events.

Suzie Collins, Swim England talent development officer for diving explained the priceless experience that the camp was for the young divers.

She said: “Prep the pool was an incredible opportunity for our Team Z divers to be among the first to dive in the brand new Sandwell Aquatics centre.

“The divers were given a tour of the building when they arrived and were all extremely excited and inspired by the venue.

“Having our camp run alongside swimming test event really gave them a feel of what it’s going to be like for the divers at the commonwealth games and an insight into international competition which will prove invaluable for these divers who missed out on so many competitions during the pandemic.”

Throughout the camp the divers were able to take part in a number of workshops, including a presentation from the Head Coach of British Diving, Alexei Evangulov, which focused on front and inward skills.

English institute of Sport Physiotherapist Gill Edmondson also ran a workshop for the young divers focussing on minimising injury during growth spurts and managing training through puberty.

Some of the divers even had the opportunity to be interviewed about the new venue by BBC and ITV as well as the Birmingham 2022 communications team and were even visited by the 2022 Commonwealth Games mascot Perry the Bull.

Full Team Z diving camp squad

Oliver Heath (Plymouth Diving)

Theo Stevens (Plymouth Diving)

Hannah Brockie (Luton)

Olivia Sykes (Luton)

Skye Fisher Eames (Luton)

Oscar Kane (Luton)

Meg Sharman (Edinburgh Diving Club)

Scarlet D’Mellow (Edinburgh Diving Club)

Corin Burrows-Mackley (Dive London)

Tallulah Clarke (Dive London)

Lexie Clarke (Crystal Palace Diving Club)

Chloe Strutt (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Daisy Lindsay (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Dimarni Washington Scott (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Etta Dodsworth (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Hannah Gowan (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Lois Bruce (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Noah Bartle (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Robert Wood (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Sebastien Wilcox (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Simeon Greig (City of Sheffield Diving Club)

Jade Hendrie (Aberdeen Diving Club)