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Brinckley takes gold at NSW diving championships

Hayden Brinckley, year six student from St Catherine Laboure Primary, Gymea. Photo: SCS/Supplied
Hayden Brinckley, year six student from St Catherine Laboure Primary, Gymea. Photo: SCS/Supplied

Hayden Brinckley, a year six student from St Catherine Laboure, Gymea, took home gold at the NSWPSSA Diving Championships held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last month.

The 11-year-old only began diving last November, after watching competitions at his swimming carnivals, but with a background in gymnastics and swimming, Hayden took to the sport quickly.

“He has a gymnastics background, so the flexibility helps,” his mother, Mrs Brinckley, added. “But he also has very little fear.”

As part of the MacKillop team, Hayden competed in the 12-13 year age group, performing five dives from the one-meter and three-meter springboard. “You have a certain amount of dives depending on your age group and each dive has a degree of difficulty,” Hayden said.

“There were six judges and they all give you a score from one to ten. They minus the highest and lowest scores and then times the scores by the degree of difficulty and then that’s your number.”

“I did a forward dive, back dive tuck, inward dive tuck and back somersault on the one-meter springboard and then on the three-meter springboard I did a front one and a half.”

His dive selection and execution impressed the judges, who awarded him the top spot on the podium, with an overall score of 144.25. Hayden travels to training at Homebush multiple times a week, working with his coaches to learn new dives and improve his technique.

“I train six times a week. Three dry land sessions and three water sessions,” Hayden said.

“My water training is diving off the springboards and platforms into the water, and dry land training is where I do strength in the gymnasium and there are dry boards, which is a springboard into a pit.”

Despite his busy training schedule, Hayden also manages to fit in swimming and nippers training. “I still swim, but not as much as usual,” Hayden said.

“He only does three sessions a week for swimming, just trying to fit everything in,” Mrs Brinckley said. Following his remarkable achievement, he will now represent New South Wales at the upcoming School Sport Australia Championships in August, to be held at Sydney Olympic Park.

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