Olympic diver supports the London Aquatics Centre as an East London diving base
Athens’ Olympic Silver medallist and London 2012 Olympian diver Peter Waterfield, has welcomed the London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the development hub for diving in East London.
He comments, “Having grown up in the area. I am excited to watch diving in London develop and grow through the Tom Daley Diving Academy and the club networks that are being put in place, to provide a clear pathway for divers in London.
“Facilities are important to the development of a sport but more importantly, it is also the coach education within a facility that really builds a programme or divers and with the world class British diving coaches on the doorstep, there is no better opportunity for diving coaches in London right now, where facilities and coach education go hand in hand”.
Commenting on the redevelopment of Waltham Forest Leisure Centre, the facility that Peter first learned to dive at, which will see an additional 3m platform replace the 5m platform, Peter believes the future for diving at the new facility in Waltham Forest is, “The opportunity to showcase diving on a community level and engage people into the sport of diving. It should also be the starting point for any diver in Waltham Forest on a competitive level, and as divers develop they have a much more localised approach into the world’s best diving facility in Stratford. This I see as a great filter and opportunity for those talented or potential divers that will need a 5m platform or above to progress.”
He adds, “Although the new facility will have a 3m platform instead of the 5m platform through redevelopment, to lose diving altogether would be far worse. I believe that the opportunities for diving in East London are now better than ever and by working in tandem with the programme at the London Aquatics Centre, young divers in Waltham Forest will have the best chance of success and of becoming the Olympians of the future. This is something I would’ve loved to have had.”
Although Peter started diving at his local pool, he had to travel across London to progress in the sport. “The most crucial part of my success was getting access to the right facilities to develop my skills and techniques, which meant not only me, but my parents, would have to commit to the travel to and from Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on a daily basis sometimes even twice a day. Had Stratford been an opportunity to access all those years ago, who knows how much better I could have been or how many more talented divers would have remained in the sport.”
While the redevelopment of Waltham Forest Leisure Centre is underway, the Waltham Forest Diving Club has relocated its entire club programme to the London Aquatics Centre, using the facilities three times per week and accessing both dry side equipment and the diving pool.
The London Aquatics Centre is located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In 2014, the facility hosted the FINA World Diving Series and is home to the Tom Daley Diving Academy. Both the facility and the academy are operated by charitable social enterprise GLL.