Thousands of children take part in START Diving sessionsNovember 18, 2016
This summer, over 5,000 school children had the opportunity to try diving thanks to START Diving, a programme that introduces young people to diving and aims to identify new talent.
In total, 12 ASA diving centres made use of funding from Sport England to run the programme. These centres were Bradford, Corby, Leeds, Crystal Palace, Luton, Harrogate, Southampton, Sheffield, Plymouth and by Dive London and Star Diving in Guildford.
All children had the opportunity to join diving lessons programmes after they finished their START Diving session. Those who showed real potential in the sport were offered a trial at the local club.
ASA National Development Officer for Diving, Becky Milnes, said: “START Diving has been a huge success and has really shown how a more proactive approach to introducing young children to sports like diving can inspire them to continue learning to dive. The programme has boosted club numbers and increased the number of children participating in the sport.
“Next year we will be expanding the START Diving programme. We hope to give even more children the opportunity to try the sport.
“I would like to thank all the clubs for running such a great programme. We look forward to seeing some of the newly recruited talent squad divers at the ASA Talent Games in 2018.”
Next year the aim is to build on the success of the START Diving programme by allowing all diving clubs to bid for funding to deliver free taster sessions to anyone who hasn’t tried the sport before.
START Diving youngsters meet Olympic heroes
Some lucky youngsters were able to meet diving superstars during their lessons. Double Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley dropped in to see one of the London sessions. Meanwhile, Olympic 3m synchro champion Jack Laugher attended a session in Leeds.
Over the course of the programme, START Diving provided free sessions to more than 5,000 school children across the country. From these, 61 were recruited into talent squads. Over 200 have joined diving lessons at the centre local to them.