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A team of 45 divers from Southampton Diving Academy travelled to Sheffield’s Ponds Forge on the 3rd & 4th May to take part in the National Skills Finals. This is the biggest diving event of the year at this level and over 280 divers from across Britain took to the boards, all trying to demonstrate a set of perfect dives to win the title of National Skills Champion.
The SDA team performed fantastically returning with a National Champion and two bronze medals, two 4th place finishes and a further 2 divers in the top 6. The team performed particularly well on the 3m station, demonstrating how hard they have worked with their coaches on the more advanced skills, which will need to be well developed for future progression in the sport.
Evelyna Johnson returned home with a gold medal and the title of National Skills Champion in the Girls 11 years. This age group was the largest, involving 41 divers, but Evelyna remained composed, demonstrating some impressive diving and winning the gold medal by a comfortable 8 points, scoring 9’s and 9.5’s for her last two dives on the 3m springboard.
Milly Batten dived fantastically in the Girls 10 Years to win the bronze medal, attracting scores of 8-8.5’s and even a 9. Milly’s final score was agonisingly less than a point away from the silver medal.
Gabrielle Kirkham also won a Bronze medal, diving in the girls 12 years. Gabrielle impressed on poolside and 3m, scoring many 8’s to win her podium place.
Other notable performances came from Alfie Lakeman Brown, Nicole van Hoof, Duclie Wilson and Ethan Bennett, all making a top six placings, with Dulcie and Ethan finishing in fourth. Ethan was extremely unlucky to finish a little more than a point from the bronze medal position.
Divers who have come through the programme’s “Talent Identification” scheme made a very good showing, illustrating the effectiveness of the initiative. The club is hopeful that the good foundations set in these early stages will be a great platform to build on for the future.
Senior Coach, Jack Clewlow was enthusiastic “I was delighted with the performance of the Southampton divers. It was a good opportunity to watch children in the early stages of their career up against others from all around the country. The results boded well for the future.”
Girls 9 Years
4th Dulcie Wilson, 7th Collette Guyett-Smith, 9th Evie Brighton
Girls 10 years
3rd Milly Batten, 12th Lucy Chandler, 20th Amy Leneve
Girls 11 years
1st Evelyna Johnson, 19th Leah Burnston, 22nd Sofia Sathio, 24th Astrid Davis, 28th Victoria Ward, 34th Grace Hill, 35th Maddie Newcombe
Girls 12 years
3rd Gabrielle Kirkham, 11th Mia Wood, 16th Megan Curtis, 18th Ella Anderson, 19th Chloe Harrington, 20th Georgia Milward, 21st Liberty West, 23rd Ysabella Foster
Girls 13 years
9th Chantelle Beckett, 14th Catherine Palmer, 22nd Serena Torpey, 26th India Bari
Girls 14/16 years
6th Nicole van Hoof, 17th Suzanna Burt, 23rd Victoria Kennedy
Boys 9 years
5th Milo French
Boys 10 years
4th Ethan Bennett , 10th Aidan McMullan, 14th Jonathan Cross, 15th Nathan Bull, 16th Finley Hughes
Boys 11 years
14th Ashley Burnard, 18th Hamish Lindsay, 19th Alex Walton, 22nd James Madden, 24th Thomas Crew
Boys 12 years
12th Thomas Cove, 14th Reuben Brown
Boys 13 years
8th Daniel Cove, 9th Oliver Clements
Boys 14/16 years
6th Alfie Lakeman-Brown, 22nd Oscar Kitchen