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Why Tom Daley's TV programme is making a Splash! for Southampton divers
2:23pm Saturday 26th January 2013 in News
IT is the TV show that has seen celebrities take the plunge.
Splash!, which stars Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley, has seen well known faces dive their way into the hearts of the nation.
Dom Joly, Hampshire-born Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson and model Caprice have starred in the diving show, which has seen more than five million viewers tune in on Saturday nights.
And the success of Splash!
has seen more people taking their first tentative steps on the springboard, according to Anne Clewlow, who is diving programme manager at The Quays pool in Southampton.
She said: “Diving is red hot at the moment, we have had more enquiries and adults are inspired by the show to come along and try a taster session.
“Most of them realise that they won’t be Olympians but can still enjoy diving.
“The contestants on Splash!
have done amazingly well, and we have many divers who do not like doing the tenmetre dives. If Splash! means that they have inspiration to just go for it, then that’s a really good thing.”
But she issued a warning to those taking up the sport without proper tuition.
“The problem is that if you put people in the pool that have no knowledge or background of the sport then it can be dangerous, we don’t want people to copy extravagant dives they are not ready for,” she said.
More than 500 people dive at The Quays in clubs, ranging from six-year-olds to the oldest aged 69, and thanks to the success of Splash! there is a waiting list of people hoping to take up classes.
They dive and perform somersaults and tricks from springboard to platforms up to 10m high – the equivalent height of two giraffes.
One diver who tried a taster session in Southampton is now on the cusp of international success.
Max Brick, 20, tried a taster session when he was ten years old. Since then he has gone on to Commonwealth Games glory in 2009 and missed out on the 2012 Olympics only because of an injury.
Southampton Olympian Pete Waterfield, who partnered Tom Daley in the 10m synchronised springboard at London 2012, said that he is delighted that diving is getting the publicity, but isn’t surprised that a show about it is on primetime TV.
He said: “I knew eventually that there would be something like this on TV. It’s great if it can get more people to take up the sport.”