A celebration of Ross’s recent achievements at the Australia Age Group Diving Championships
For any significant achievement, recognition or award, the individual on the podium is ALWAYS surrounded by a team of people who have supported, encouraged, cheered and, in some cases
contributed their unique expertise to help the award-winner succeed.
I was recently reminded of how important this village of talented people is when my son Ross (14) participated in the Australia Age Group Diving Championships in Sydney in April 2023.
On the edge of our seats...
With the event not being televised or live-streamed, my eldest son and I huddled over his laptop as event scores came in all week, and each time, the final result was known in the last dive of the competition. New Zealand athletes were there by invitation, and Ross and the Diving New Zealand team were up against the best from Australia in each age group.
The week began well when Ross and his partner Josh competed in the Boys 14-18 synchronised diving event on the 3-metre springboard. Up against some 18-year-old pairings, they placed a respectable 5th out of 14 synchro pairs!
The next day, Ross competed in the Boys 14-15 Platform event, which was his highest focus and his greatest expectation in terms of performance. Amazingly, Ross came 2nd of ten divers pulled together a powerful and consistent list of 6 dives from 5-meter height, including a terrific inward 1 ½ tuck.
Ross’s least favourite event was the Boys 14-15 1 meter springboard, and as the tiredness of the week set in, he misjudged a couple of dives but felt satisfied with a 5th out of 16 divers result.
The end of the weekend finished with his Boys 14-15 3 meter springboard event and was the most exciting of the week! By round 4 and 5 of 7, Ross was in the lead, but the gap between 1st and 5thwas very narrow. By the end of the competition, Ross had secured another medal, finishing 3rd out of 15 athletes! It was an amazing way to finish a terrific week of competition, and Ross was more than satisfied with his results.
The wonderful village of talented and generous people that continue to contribute to Ross’s performance!
- Georgia – Diving New Zealand coach during Australia Age Group Championships – event coaching
- Wendy – Team manager during Australia Age Group Championships – event support
- The DNZ Team who attended Australia Age Group Championships – cheering and mutual support
- Barbara & Karen – Diving New Zealand accounts & administration – event logistics
- Wellington Diving Club – creating a culture of fun & performance
- James – Wellington Diving Head Coach – technical & fitness coaching; diving career planning
- Nick – Wellington Diving Assistant Coach – technical & fitness coaching
- Stuart – Elite Mindset Institute – mindset coaching
- Various strength & conditioning coaches
- Helen – High-Performance Sport New Zealand advisor – orchestrating several resources available to Ross
- Suzanne & Tessa – academic support and managing Ross’s needs at Onslow College
- ZZ & Andrew – basketball coaches (Ross’s other love)
- Family & friends in Canada, Scotland and New Zealand – cheerleading and moral support
- Cameron – big brother, mentor, master of resilience
- Me – chauffeur, cook, financial investor, emotional support & Chief Cheerleader
- Fiona – angel watching over all of us
As Ross’s sporting and academic careers progress, I am sure there will be an ever-growing group of people who may contribute to his success. As a family, we are so grateful that people are willing to invest their time and talent to allow Ross to follow some of his passions and fulfil the expectation he has for himself. It is only in the last year that Ross has begun competing internationally. Still, he has risen to the challenge. He feels he is performing well enough to set some aspirational goals, the most ambitious of which is representing New Zealand at the World Junior Diving Championships within the next four years.
The team that surrounds him will be pivotal to his potential success.