Date: 6th July 2016
Location: Waltham Forest Diving Club, London Aquatics Centre
Rules: The 10m Platform involves diving or falling into the water from a platform 10 metres high. It requires poise and great courage. During the fall, athletes can perform a number of spins, flips and twists before hitting the water at speeds up to 55mph, with as little water disturbance as possible. Each dive has an assigned degree of difficulty, upon which their score is based, along with the ease displayed by the athletes. The Platforms are 10 metres high, and 21ft long with a non-slip surface. Women must complete five dives, with no limit of difficulty. The five dives can be picked from the following categories; Forward, Back, Reverse, Inward, Twisting and Armstand.
Olympic Gold Medal London 2012: Chen Ruolin, China
Sarah: This was it. The big one. There were many, many doubters that we'd ever complete this. Over the last four years, we've tried to remain optimistic (or naive) and entered in to our lessons with Waltham Forest club with high hopes. Not 10m high hopes though. Following our 3m Springboard events, I was under no illusion that I would ever get off the 10m Platform. Look at it! It's ridiculously high. I was hopeful that I might find someone to push me off the 5m platform, and would enthusistically chalk that up as a success. We joined the club for their dry-side training and a couple of lessons in the pool attempting to master different dives. I was pleased to force myself off the 3m Platform but otherwise, I just wasn't able to progress any further. Despite our nervousness, the club were sure we'd be able to do the 10m, but I can categorically say I will never voluntarily jump off that board! I have huge respect for anyone who can do it - and there were people flinging themselves off as we cowered away. We managed to get ourselves up on the board, but were very glad to return to dry land. We tried. We failed. But we gave it a good go, and pushed ourselves to the limits of our courage.
Ellie: For some reason I thought this one would be fine. Not easy, but doable. As soon as we stood on the 10m platform I knew that it wasn't going to be the case. It is completely terrifying. One of the things that I remember from the London Olympics is a very green looking diver who had misjudged his dive and dislocated his shoulder. If a highly trained individual can get damaged like that then a complete
idiot novice like me would stand no chance. I'm really pleased with the progress I made with Waltham Forest, my technique is loads better after just a few sessions. Although I doubt I'll ever get off the 10m platform I would love to continue learning.