Talented Luton trio take to the boards at British Junior Elites

Fine effort: Katie Burton, Amy Rollinson, Stephen Hewat and Patrick Hanlon
Fine effort: Katie Burton, Amy Rollinson, Stephen Hewat and Patrick Hanlon

Luton Diving Club competed at the British Junior Elites tournament held at in the Plymouth Life Centre last week.

The four day event is the highlight of the domestic junior calendar with the top divers under the age of 18 battling it out in three different age groups, A, B and C.

The Luton team of Amy Rollinson, Katie Burton and Patrick Hanlon were led by Stephen Hewat, recently appointed diving development officer for Luton Diving Club based at Inspire: Luton Sports village.

The competition began with the girls competing in the Group B platform event with Rollinson finishing eighth and Burton 11th.

Hanlon was next to take to the boards competing on 1m in boys Group C, where he came 17th.

On day two, Hanlon kick started the competition in the platform event finishing a very respectable 13th position whilst Burton and Rollinson went on the 3m springboard both narrowly missing out on the final by 3.7 points; coming eighth and ninth retrospectively.

The final day saw Hanlon take to the 3m springboard whilst Burton and Rollinson competed on 1m springboard finishing 10th and 18th.

Coach Hewat said: “This was a great experience for all the divers being their first Junior Elites.

“There were nerves at the start however as the divers went through the competition they settled down and put in some great dives.

“Katie and Amy were only few points away from reaching the final in the 3m event.

“Patrick was also in a similar position with a solid set of required dives and just over rotating on his final dive, an inward two and a half somersault, saw him missing out on the finals for 3m spring board.

“It was a great learning experience for the divers and definitely something to build on for the future.”

On her efforts, Burton said: “Overall I was pleased with my performance and thoroughly enjoyed being able to compete in such a challenging competition’

Youngster Hanlon continued: “It was a great experience being at my first Elite competition but there were many things that I could have improved upon.

“The standard was a lot higher than in previous years but this has inspired me to train harder to become better than my opponents.”

Meanwhile, Rollinson added: “It was a good experience.

“Our new coach had prepared me for the step up to this level of competition.

“Although I narrowly missed out on the finals, I proved I could mix it with the best showing there is no reason I can’t medal this time next year.”

Luton DC will next send a team to compete at the East Region Age Groups competition in Southend later this month.

If you’d like to try diving, contact diving@activeluton.co.uk or head to the Inspire when you can arrange a free taster session.