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West Midlands Diving Strategy launched as part of Commonwealth legacy project

A four-year vision which aims to unearth future international diving medallists has been officially launched by Swim England.

The West Midlands Diving Strategy 2021-25 aims to increase participation at all levels of the sport in the region – from grassroots through to performance – by developing a ‘pathway which is inclusive, accessible to all and meets the needs of the community it serves’.

It has been created as part of a legacy project around the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the £73 million Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which aims to offer a platform to promote the sport in the region.

The strategy has been produced by Swim England in partnership with the Swim England West Midlands Region and its vision is ‘to provide an inclusive and sustainable diving programme in the West Midlands up to and beyond the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, capable of producing future international medallists’

Olympian Sarah Barrow, Swim England’s West Midlands diving development officer who competed for Team GB at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said: “We’re delighted to unveil our vision for diving in the West Midlands.

“The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will help to spark interest in diving in large numbers.

“This important strategy means we will be able to take advantage of that as we’ll have the framework in place to develop that raw potential, be it from an athlete or coaching perspective.

Excited about the possibilities

“It would be amazing to think that, one day, someone who was encouraged to take up the sport in the West Midlands because they were so inspired by the Commonwealth Games becomes a champion themselves.

“This could certainly happen. We believe we can firmly establish diving in the region, especially at such a fantastic facility in Sandwell.”

The strategy has four clear objectives:

  • Workforce: Develop, train and engage a workforce ensuing an opportunity for diverse backgrounds
  • Widening participation: Produce a pathway which is inclusive, accessible to all and meets the needed of the community it serves
  • Diving pathway: Develop an inclusive diving pathway from community to performance, maximising the facilities that are available
  • Partnership delivery: Work in partnership throughout the pathway with both the sport and non-sport sector.

Sarah added: “We’re excited about the possibilities and look forward to working in close partnership with all our stakeholders to help make this vision become a reality.”