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Active Nation’s Southampton Diving …
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Divers from Active Nation’s Southampton Diving Academy competed against teams from around the world when they travelled to Sofia in Bulgaria for their 2015 Summer Team Trip.
This year Southampton joined forces with Albatross Dive Club Reading, and Star Diving Team Guildford to make a 21 strong squad flying the flag for the South East Region Talent Programme.
The team ranged in age from 10 to 18 years, a mix of youngsters fresh from their first National Final competition up to seasoned elites. All enjoyed a week of competition against very strong teams from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Serbia and of course Bulgaria.
The team touched down in a hot Sofia and immediately headed to The Diana Pool for training. For all but 3 of them, it was their first international trip and the first time they had ever dived outdoors, which was not without its challenges with very cold branded bottled water and quite high winds requiring serious focus – particularly whilst diving from the high platforms.
However the team of 6 young SDA divers, supported by experienced coach Jack Clewlow showed self-assurance in both training and competition and worked really hard to adjust to the different conditions.
The experience of Brandon Foster shone through, and he won the only medals for the young SDA squad at the meet, diving in the Boys B 14/15 years winning Gold in the platform event and Silver on the 3m Springboard.
Thomas Bailey, recently crowned National Age Group Champion of England on 3m Springboard, worked hard against the strong international field managing 5th place in this tough event which will prove to be a positive experience for the future.
Evelyna Johnson, National Age Group 1 metre Champion of England, competed in the Platform competition in the girls 12/13 age group, where she finished a creditable 5th. Unfortunately, as she injured her foot during training, she wasn’t able to take part in her other events.
The 3 younger SDA divers put in some great performances with Milly Batten narrowly missing out on the medals on the 1m and the Platform, Ethan Bennett a top 6 place on the Platform and Milo French 7th on both the 3m and the Platform.
Senior Coach Jack Clewlow said “Travelling overseas always creates an extra challenge for our divers and the other European Countries were very strong, but SDA showed great strength and team spirit.”
Girls 10/11 Years
Milly Batten: 1m 4th, 3m 7th, 5m Platform 4th
Boys 10/11 Years
Ethan Bennett: 1m 7th, 3m 8th, 5m Platform 6th
Milo French: 1m 11th, 3m 7th, 5m Platform 7th
Girls 12/13 Years
Evelyna Johnson : Platform 5th
Boys 14/15 Years
Thomas Bailey: 1m 5th, 3m 5th, Platform 4th
Brandon Foster: 1m 4th, 3m 2nd, Platform 1st