Novice divers from across the country converged on Plymouth for the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) National Skills Final which saw 10-year-old Catherine Garnett taking top honours.
Her coach at Harrogate District Diving Club, Rosie Whiting, said she was delighted with Catherine’s performance – and that of all the other Harrogate divers competing in the event at the pool where Olympic medalist Tom Daley trains.
Rosie Whiting said:
To have a gold medalist and another top six finisher is a real achievement for a programme which operates out of a relatively small five metre pool with very limited dry land facilities. I am a very proud and very happy coach.
Catherine, a pupil in Year 5 at the ‘outstanding’ co-educational school based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, started diving three years ago.
At the Plymouth competition she competed against 26 other 10-year-olds over three stations – completing dives on poolside, and from the 1m and 3m boards. For her poolside dives, Catherine scored 9 and two 8.5s out of a possible maximum 10 marks for one of her dives.
Two other Harrogate divers competed in the 10-year-old age group with Elysia Goodman placed 6th and Isabella Bonson placed 14th in the competition.
A fellow pupil at Belmont Grosvenor school, Oliver Whitaker, was also competing at the event, and was placed 31st in the 10-11 year-old group
Ms Whiting said it had been a challenging event, with divers from clubs including Leeds, Sheffield and Crystal Palace posing tough competition for the Harrogate youngsters.
Rosie Whiting added:
All the divers who took part performed extremely well and were all a credit to themselves and to Harrogate District Diving Club.
Jane Merriman, Headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School, said pupils and staff were proud of Catherine’s achievements – and were keeping a close watch on her and fellow diver Oliver’s progress.
Belmont Grosvenor School, and its Magic Tree Nursery, is set in 20 acres of grounds just three miles from Harrogate, and caters for children from three months to 11 years old.