Diver Emily, 11, could follow Daley’s success

The Northern Echo: HIGH HOPES: Emily Bearpark with a silver medal she won in a competition in Leeds in October HIGH HOPES: Emily Bearpark with a silver medal she won in a competition in Leeds in October

A YOUNG diver could follow in the footsteps of Olympic medallist Tom Daley and is already training alongside girls four years her senior.

Emily Bearpark, a yearseven student at Saint Francis Xavier School, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, began training nearly five years ago aged six.

Now 11, she competes in high board competitions, as well as travelling from her home in Reeth to train at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington.

Since September, she has also been training regularly with Leeds Diving Club.

Training takes place five days a week, including sessions in the gym to build strength, power and flexibility.

Emily said: “I enjoy training and achieving in my sport.

Learning a new dive is scary, but rewarding.

“I have lots of friends through the team and enjoy spending time with them at competitions.”

Emily dives at a variety of heights and is judged on posture, takeoff, flight and entry.

She said: “You have to be totally committed to your training if you want to make good progress.

“High board diving is an exciting sport, which I love.

“At Olympic level, divers compete at three metres springboard or the ten-metre platform, and dives have a degree of difficulty used to calculate the final score.”

Springboard diving is from either one metre or three metres high, with platform diving from between five and ten metres.

Emily is learning six groups of difficult dives that can be performed in four shapes.

Her mother, Juliet, said: “Watching Emily dive is wonderful; it gives her a lot of pleasure.

“It is a commitment for both Emily and us as parents because it involves a lot of travel, but it is also very exciting.”

Mrs Bearpark said it was too early to tell if Emily could emulate Tom Daley, but said: “In Leeds, they have put her in a squad which could take her to the top level, if that is where she shows a desire to go.

“She enjoys every moment and we will see where it takes her.”

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