Leeds divers set to make a big splash this summer

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Young divers from Leeds are set to make some massive waves at a string of major global sporting events.

Coaches at the City of Leeds Diving Club have hailed this summer as the club’s most successful ever after members were chosen to represent their country in Scotland, China and Italy.

Eight of the team’s young stars will be heading off to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month.

Alicia Blagg, 17, Rebecca Gallantree, 19 and Hannah Starling, 19, will join Jack Laugher, 18, Chris Mears, 21, James Denny, 20 and Matty Lee, 15 as part of the 15-strong Team England diving squad taking part in the Games in July.

Yona Knight-Wisdom, 18, will also become the first ever diver to compete for Jamaica at the prestigious summer showpiece.

The Commonwealth Games come hot on the heels of the World Diving Cup in Shanghai from July 15 where Alicia, Hannah, Rebecca, Jack, Chris, and Yona will also be competing.

The Leeds team’s rising stars will also compete at the Junior European Diving Championships in Bergamo, Italy, in July.

Adrian Hinchliffe, head coach of the City of Leeds team based at the John Charles Centre for Sport, said:“The fact that divers from Leeds will make up almost half of the squad that will compete for Team England at the Commonwealth Games is a truly extraordinary accomplishment and one which we’re very proud of. Our club is enjoying an unprecedented period of success.

“We’re really seeing the benefits of years of hard work and dedication.

“This is set to be a very exciting Summer and we’re confident we can keep up the exceptional standards we’ve set and see Leeds divers doing their country proud at Rio 2016.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “We’re incredibly proud that so many of our local athletes will be representing their country at these global events and there’s a huge buzz in Leeds about what a fantastic summer of sport this is going to be.

“Through a combination of hard work, top class coaching and some outstanding training facilities, Leeds has become one of the leading names in consistently producing genuinely world class sporting talent.

“With the World Cup in full swing, The Tour de France just around the corner and The Commonwealth Games fast approaching, this really is a landmark year for sport in our city.

“And the fact so many of our local stars will be playing their part makes it all the more exciting.”

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