Friday, 18 December 2009

Star divers finish the year in style

Caption: Twin sisters Helen and Carol Galashan were among the top performers in Canada

The City of Leeds diving squad finished their year of success in style with an impressive performance in a major international event in Canada last week.

The junior and senior squads took on the finest divers from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, Germany and the rest of the UK in the international event hosted by the prestigious CAMO Diving Club (Club Aquatique de Montreal) in Montreal.

The City of Leeds divers, who are part of Leeds City Council’s Diving Training Scheme based at The Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport, claimed no less than 14 top-five finishes in the various competitions.

Leading the way was 13-year-old rising star Alicia Blagg, who continued her fine form from the British Championships earlier in the year with a victory, a second place and a third-place finish in Montreal. Clubmate Grace Reid also starred in the 12 to 13-year-old age category with a fantastic win and second-place to show her talent for the future.

Twins Helen and Carol Galashan continued to show their development in the 10m Open Women’s Synchronised Platform event as the national champions teamed up to claim a fine second place, while Jenny Cowen also caught the eye as she claimed second in the 3m Springboard event in the 16-18 age category.

Other good performances came from Josh Dowd (fourth and sixth), Saffron Sutcliffe (fourth, sixth and ninth), and Louise Moran (fourth, ninth and 10th), while Rebecca Gallantree completed a year which saw her compete at the World Championships in Rome with solid third, fifth and seventh-placed finishes.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“Congratulations on yet another impressive showing by our City of Leeds divers taking on and beating some of the best divers in the world. The squad have enjoyed a fantastic year with the stream of talented young divers coming through seemingly never ending!

“This is a testament not only to their own devotion and determination to succeed, but also to the skills of the coaching staff who keep uncovering and developing their talents so effectively. We look forward to even more success for the squad and for Leeds in 2010.”

To see the full list of results from the CAMO International Invitational event, go to the website at

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council’s Leeds Diving Training Scheme is managed by Adrian Hinchliffe and has been running since 1986. The scheme provides opportunities in the sport of diving for all ages and from recreational to elite level. In total there are over 300 people taking part in the scheme on a daily and weekly basis, making it one of the biggest diving programmes in Britain.

For further information about the scheme contact Adrian Hinchliffe at, Edwin Jongejans at or call 0113 395 7363.


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Statement on Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said:

“Give the amount of snow that has fallen and the predicted forecast for the weekend it has been decided to close all Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches. A decision will be taken next week as to when the pitches will reopen.”

Statement regarding overnight snowfall across Leeds

In anticipation of requests for information regarding what gritting has taken place overnight, a Leeds City Council spokesman said:

"We have had gritting crews out since 3.30pm yesterday afternoon and they have worked right throughout the night.

"Those crews have been concentrating on roads which are classed as 'primary routes'.

"Staff on the day shift will begin/began work at 0730 and will continue to concentrate on those primary routes".