Diving is a water sport I’m sure we’re all familiar with! What with the celebrity status of UK diver Tom Daley, and the success of TV show ‘Splash’, diving is something that’s been in the public eye – particularly since the 2012 Olympics. So here’s what you need to know.
Diving involves jumping off a diving board of a particular height, and performing a number of acrobatic moves whilst falling, before they straighten out, head first, ready to enter the pool. Dives can be performed off of a number of different height boards, though, the higher the board, the more moves you can do before you hit the water!
When diving, the speed in which you fall towards the ground is incredibly fast. This means that athletes must have super coordination and precision in their moves so they don’t upset their momentum and so that they can fit all their movements in before they have to unfurl for entry.
Divers can attempt a dive up to six times in a round. In each round, their dives must be different, focussing on a separate element each time. These elements are set by the competition body beforehand, so essentially there are compulsory dives that the athletes must perform. Athletes are scored on how they perform their dives, and on how they hit the water. To put it bluntly, the less splash when you enter the water, the better. The best scores are awarded to those who manage to enter the water with no splash whatsoever.
There are a huge number of acrobatic movements that diving athletes can perform in the air. These include tucks, pikes, twists and somersaults among many others. Often, divers string together a number of these movements in combination to create wonderful displays of skill and talent.
Now, here’s the exciting bit. Divers tend to enter big competitions at ages as young as fourteen! Here is a sport you can start right now, no matter what age and, if you’re good, have some possibility of getting to the top within a few years. You’ll have to train really hard though! But I bet some of you out there can do it!