Friday, 2 July 2010

Leeds divers enjoy taste of more gold

Caption: City of Leeds divers Alicia Blagg (left) and Hannah Starling (right) together with Edinburgh's Grace Reid (centre) with their medals

The City of Leeds diving squad continued their amazing run of success as they claimed ALL of the titles in the women’s section of the British Gas Diving Championships held in Sheffield last weekend.

In an unprecedented show of domination, the team made it another clean sweep of the top step of the podium as they not only matched but improved upon their results from the previous senior national event in February when they won every category.

Sarah Barrow led the way, showing she is nearing her best form after a year out due to a back injury by winning the 10-metre individual gold and then teaming up with former Plymouth Diving colleague Tonia Couch to win the 10m synchronised event.

The 1m springboard saw City of Leeds divers take all three medals available, with 13-year-old Alicia Blagg retaining the title she won in February followed by clubmates Chloe Hurd and Jenny Cowen in second and third.

Alicia, who made history in February when her two gold medals made her the youngest-ever double national champion, continued her impressive form by also taking home bronze for the 3m individual and silver along with Chloe in the 3m synchronised event.

Leeds Olympian Rebecca Gallantree maintained the style which saw her claim a strong fourth place in the recent World Cup event in China to retain her national 3m individual title, while 15-year-old Hannah Starling also enjoyed golden success by teaming up with Edinburgh’s Grace Reid to win the 3m synchronised title.

Identical twins Carol and Helen Galashan also appeared on podium after finishing third in the 10m synchronised event to bring the City of Leeds medal haul to an amazing 12 – meaning half of all the 24 medals available were won by the squad.

The squad are all part of Leeds City Council’s Diving Training Scheme based at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport overseen by senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe and former world champion Edwin Jongejans.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“Congratulations to the City of Leeds diving squad for another sensational result. Their achievements over the last couple of years have been amazing and the fact they keep getting even better is really exciting and promising with London 2012 getting closer and closer.

“All the divers are exceptionally dedicated and they are led by a fantastic coaching staff so their successes are all richly deserved and we are very proud of them.”

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.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Bike week winners announced

Caption: Iain Potts, site agent, Will Smith, contracts manager, from Colas North, Anne-Marie Crew, Yr 6 Teacher, Harehills Primary School, Vicki Franks, school travel advisor for Leeds City Council, and winner Laiba Rashid.

Caption: From Left (back row) Will Smith, contracts manager, Iain Potts, site agent, from Colas North, Margaret Broughton, Head Teacher Harehills Primary School, (front row)Vicki Franks, school travel advisor for Leeds City Council and winner Alisha Kaur Singh.

Caption:McKelvie Paice from South Leeds Academy testing out his new bike

Winners of two competitions run by Leeds City Council and Colas during bike week have been announced.

Harehills primary school pupils Alisha Kaur Singh, 6, and Laiba Rashid, 11, were awarded new bikes and safety equipment for their winning posters on building site safety.

Also McKelvie Paice, 12, from South Leeds Academy was picked out of a draw of a number of pupils who cycled to school during bike week. McKelvie was presented with a bike and safety equipment donated by Colas, and a further two pupils were presented with vouchers provided by Leeds City Council’s school travel team.

The winning posters, of which 200 were submitted, are to be displayed around the Colas compound on Darfield Road for the duration of the works.

A further ten children from Harehills primary school who had cycled to school during Bike Week were also presented with high street gift vouchers.

Andrew Hall, transport strategy manager for Leeds City Council said:
“It is great to see children embracing the idea of cycling to school, and I hope they continue to do so now Bike Week is over. “

Will Smith, contacts manager for Colas said:
“It is fantastic to see so many of the children getting involved with these competitions and embracing the idea of cycling.
“The posters designed were all of a very high standard and it is great that we will be able to display the winning posters around the site.”

Notes to editors:

Copies of the winning posters are available in pdf.

Colas, a contractor for highways, donated three bikes as prizes for the design a poster competition. The poster theme was building site safety as Colas will be working outside the school over the summer and will display winning posters around their compound close to the schools main entrance, to try to keep children in the area safe.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

New housing ‘will ease council house overcrowding’

People are due to move into a new housing development that should ease overcrowding in local council homes.

Local people from west Leeds who are currently suffering from overcrowding in their council homes have been given the opportunity to move into a variety of brand new social rented homes on Farrow Road in Wortley.

The development is made up of 14 three and four bedroom homes for social rent, with a further 10 three bedroom homes available for shared ownership.

Farrow Road is one of a number of schemes being delivered by Accent Foundation through Leeds City Council’s innovative Strategic Affordable Housing Partnership.

Through the partnership – which is helping build affordable housing using council-owned land to attract public funding – Accent Foundation will be developing 290 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership across the city. This development has benefited from funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Working in partnership with Accent, a Local Allocations Plan has been developed – meaning all the units have now been allocated to people from the Wortley and Armley areas who had been suffering from overcrowding. This will release 12 council homes in west Leeds for applicants on the council house waiting list.

Successful applicants are expected to start moving into their new homes from later this month.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
“Whether we are in a recession or not, this city needs more affordable housing and this latest development is one of a number across Leeds that are providing low cost or council housing.
“Farrow Road means that families in council homes that are too small for them can move, freeing up much needed accommodation for others.
“More needs to be done to create affordable housing in Leeds – we’re committed to doing everything we can to provide people with proper, decent homes.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937