I was lucky enough to get to see some some world class diving yesterday at the British Gas National Cup diving event in Southend, Essex, UK yesterday.
The event was held at the Olympic standard diving facilility at the new Southend Swimming and Diving Centre at Garons Park in. We had seen it advertised that it was being held and that Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield would be taking part and we had it in mind to wander along sometime over the weekend to watch.
Both the kids decided to go out to see friends in the afternoon so I popped over on my own to see what was occurring. I was somewhat disappointed to find signs up when I arrived saying the event was sold out for both remaining days. Gutted. Still I thought I would go and ask just in case. Talk about lucky – some people had just left saying they were not coming back and so 3 tickets were actually available. Needless to say for a grand total of £7 I snapped them up.
I went in and watched for a hour or so and it was fab. I then nipped home for a spot of tea and collected the kids and the three of us went back for the last session of the day.
This last session was the mens 10m synchro competition featuring messrs Daley and Waterfield and the the ladies 3m springboard synchro. We stayed for the whole of the session and both my kids were thrilled (for different reasons) to get photos taken with Tom after the event. My lad Tom was thrilled as he is learning to dive at the same pool. My daughter Liz was thrilled as she thinks Tom D is a bit dishy.
I was pleased also to see Deborah Gallantree there who I know through my work as a civil engineer. Deborah works for Essex County Council and her daughter Rebecca Gallantree is an Olympic standard diver. Unfortunately Rebecca wasn’t taking part in the events due to injury 😦
The new pool was opened late in 2010 and whilst it means the actual swimming pool is rather smaller than it ought to be, the diving facilities really are world class and I’m glad my Tom has somewhere like this on his doorstep where he can learn and hopefully train later.
A selection of my videos and photos from the event are included below. Photos first, videos after.