By Theo Smith | Posted: Wednesday September 29, 2021
The first six months of the 2021 diving season was intense.
2020 was extensively disrupted by lockdown. A fractured scaphoid followed a few weeks later by a fractured thumb, curtailed my diving for the majority of the year.
Starting 2021, I did not have a dive list to compete in Age Group A. I set myself a target of competing in Auckland at Diving New Zealand Nationals in Junior Elite A Boys! This was a challenging goal, but with the support of my coaches in both Dunedin and Auckland where I trained in the school holidays, I was able to achieve this target.
In April, I competed in Age Group - Group A boys in our first competition in Hamilton. The goal was to get a dive list to be able to compete 5 weeks later at South Islands in Junior Elite A boys. It was down to the last week of training and it all started to come together. I competed at South Islands with a Junior Elite list on all boards and achieved personal bests in all events. I placed second in all events against a diver from Auckland. I was the South Island Champion and received the W.H Williams trophy for the highest points after the 1st 4 dives on any board, the Kirkley Challenge Cup awarded for the highest score in any Open Men’s event. For the second year I won the Landers Tower Cup awarded to any boy or girl with the highest score on platform.
To be able to compete at a junior elite level was a huge achievement and attending nationals against all the top divers in my age group and placing 3rd in both 1m and platform was a great way to finish my year of diving.
I am still at the pool, enjoying coaching the new divers and giving back my love for the sport in a different way.