This weekend provided a major opportunity for the latest batch of Plymouth Skills divers to test themselves in their first ever competition and was a chance for the more experienced divers to showcase their talents. The Southwest Regional Skills competition was held at the Life Centre and saw 25 divers competing and trying to qualify for the National Skills Finals, which will take place in Leeds on 15th and 16th of July.
This year’s event featured 5 divers in the youngest age category which sees divers aged 8 and 9. In the boy’s event Leighton Mossford won Gold with some fantastic dives and in the process qualified for the finals. The girls event saw 4 Plymouth divers going head-to-head and they all produced some excellent dives. It was a very close competition with the lead changing hands throughout, but it was Phoebe-Mae Evans who finished with the gold medal. She was closely followed by Bethany Hockaday who took the silver medal, Ivy-May Davey in bronze medal position and Honor-Grace Kelly in 4th place. Amazingly they all achieved the finals qualifying score with ease.
Group D boys pitched club mates Seth Greentree and William Gregory against each other. The standard of dives from both of them was excellent but it was Seth who managed to finish with the gold medal with a near perfect back jump in tuck from poolside leaving William with a well-earned silver medal. Both divers scored highly throughout and will also be heading to the finals in July.
The girls group D event was the biggest event of the day, seeing 8 divers competing for the title. The competition bought out the best in the divers with some superb scoring dives from poolside, 1m and the 3m boards. In the end the top 3 were separated by less than 10 points with Isabella Stringer breaking the 300-point mark and winning gold with high scoring dives throughout. She was closely followed by Margot Elliot who took the silver medal and Rae Mossford who took the bronze medal with both divers excelling in the 1m dives. The divers in 4th to 8th were even closer with less than 5 points between them all. They finished with Lottie Tucker in 4th, Imogen-Rose Hockings in 5th, Ivy Dart in 6th and Emily Williams in 7th with all 7 Plymouth divers achieving the finals qualifying score.
With the pressure to perform mounting, the C Group boys were up to the challenge. Kaiwen Dun scored the only 10’s of the event with a perfect forward dive tuck from poolside, helping him score well over 300 points to win the gold medal by over 20 points. Charlie Clinick took the silver medal and Alex Jones the bronze medal in their first ever competition, both scoring highly in several dives and getting the scores needed for the finals. In the C girls’ event experienced club mates Abi Bishop and Mia Tickle dived superbly throughout but it was Mia who took the gold medal with a new PB of over 300 points, leaving Abi with the silver medal. Isla Newton in her first competition also produced some brilliant dives and finished in 4th and easily achieved the final qualifying score.
The B Group competition involved a few divers from other clubs but it was Plymouth’s Louie McCue who stole the show winning the gold medal. He produced some brilliant dives off both the 1m and 3m boards to finish with a superb 389 points and over 100 points above the score needed to qualify for the finals.
The divers were coached by Sally Freeman, Fito Gutierrez, Harry Mason, Tommy Davis with a group of younger coaches assisting. The competition highlights that the future of diving in Plymouth is looking good and with the ongoing support of Plymouth Active Leisure and Pilkington Estates, Plymouth Diving is hoping for more success in July where they will have a huge squad of 21 divers vying for medals.