Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Leeds pupils get chance to meet diving stars ahead of crunch Olympic trials

Caption: City of Leeds diving stars Sarah Barrow and Jack Laugher (pictured with Seb Coe at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport) will be looking to secure their Olympic places at the trials next week (image courtesy of Yorkshire Gold)

Up to 120 Leeds schoolchildren will get the chance to see the city’s Olympic diving hopefuls in action at two special training sessions this week.

Pupils in years one to three at Whitecote Primary School in Bramley will be guests at the City of Leeds training sessions to be held this week at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport as the Leeds divers prepare for the crucial British Gas Diving Championships in Sheffield next week, after which the Team Great Britain squad for the London 2012 Olympic Games will be chosen and named.

The main session the pupils will be attending is on Thursday 31 May, when all of the City of Leeds senior divers will be on hand to perfect their preparations for Sheffield as well as meeting the schoolchildren and conducting a question-and-answer session to give an insight into what life is like for leading international divers.

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All media are invited to attend the open training session of the City of Leeds senior diving squad at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Thursday 31 May. The pupils from Whitecote Primary School will be attending from 2pm to view the session and meet some of the divers. Media are invited to attend all of the session, but are advised the divers will not be available for interviews until approximately 4pm. The John Charles Centre for Sport is located off Middleton Grove, LS11 5DJ.

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The City of Leeds stars looking to secure their places at the London 2012 Olympics includes Jack Laugher, Rebecca Gallantree, Hannah Starling, Alicia Blagg and Sarah Barrow, who goes into the selection trials on 8-10 June in superb form after making history with 10-metre synchonised platform partner Tonia Couch by winning Great Britain’s first-ever world-level medal by female divers with bronze at the FINA World Cup test event in London in February. The duo then followed that up by becoming European champions in Eindhoven earlier this month.

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

The visit by the schoolchildren was arranged after a request was made by the school to coach Edwin to see if the pupils could attend a training session and meet the divers as part of an Olympic-themed project they have been working on.

Diving coach Edwin Jongejans said:

“The school got in touch to say they were really keen to come along and watch our divers and get the chance to meet them and ask them questions, so this is the perfect time as they are all here on Thursday finalising their build-up to the selection trials event next week in Sheffield.

“It really is now or never time for the squad, as all of the hard work they have put in for the last four years has led up to this and their Olympic dreams may be decided by a good performance at the trials. They are all totally focused on it so the pupils will get a fascinating insight into the pressures of being a diver and athlete at the very highest level.”

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 Adrian.hinchliffe@leeds.gov.uk, Edwin Jongejans at Edwin.jongejans@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 7363.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council,
Senior communications officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472