A host of Australia’s most talented junior divers spent three days in Brisbane recently for Diving Australia’s (DA) Dream 2832 Squad camp.
From 3-6 October, 15 of the 21 DreamSquad members spent time with DA’s performance pathways team developing their skills and experiencing a high-performance environment.
A host of New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athletes: Chloe Gao, Deanna Drake, Ellie Cole, Hannah Smith, Ruby Drogemuller, and Lachlan Abbott were among the talented troupe’s number.
The Squad’s goal is to foster young athletes with talent, integrity, high skill set, dedication, commitment and ultimately the potential to achieve excellence at the LA 2028 and/or Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.
The athletes were selected for the squad based on their performances at the 2023 Australian Elite Junior Championships and international events in the last competition season.
During the camp, the young divers worked on their fundamental skills and drills, along with attending workshops about nutrition, goal setting, culture and values.
DreamSqaud athlete Jonah Mercieca attended the camp and said the atmosphere amongst the new squad was both uplifting and positive.
“When we were doing workshops outside of the pool everyone was contributing to the topics which was great,” Mercieca said.
“Everyone also got along really well which helped with team bonding, as in the future, most of us will get the chance to travel together as a team, creating a safe space in which everyone will feel like they belong,” he said.
The Victorian teen welcomed the opportunity to work with a variety of national-level coaches and support staff, both in and out of the water.
“It gave me a wider perspective on my technique as I was able to break it down further to help improve my diving,” he said.
“The values and nutrition workshops helped everyone to develop a greater understanding of their own values, and the values that Diving Australia prioritises. The nutrition session was also helpful as it covered the best way to fuel pre and post-training to maximise performance,” he said.
Over the coming year, Mercieca will be working hard on his goals with a view to achieving national squad selection by building a stronger open dive list.
“I believe that the camp will help me to achieve these goals, as I was able to get a different perspective on my technique from the coaches there, which helped me to fix a few problems I had allowing for further progress,” Mercieca said.
The camp also provided the Diving Australia team the opportunity to conduct competition style and dryland testing, allowing for individualised feedback for the athletes to take back to their daily training environment.
Diving Australia’s Performance Pathways General Manager Suzie Collins, experienced her first DreamSquad camp since joining the organisation.
“I was blown away by the athlete’s enthusiasm and teamwork throughout the camp,” she said.
“This was the first time I have spent a considerable amount of time with the young athletes, I really enjoyed getting to know them all.
“To be able to offer individualised feedback and advice to each diver is incredibly important to their development, that’s what makes DreamSquad so valuable.
“It is a very talented group we have with us for this squad, I can’t wait to see how they progress and continue to improve,” she said.
Congratulations to the athletes selected to the Diving Australia Dream 2832 Squad:
Alexandria Sando (SA)
Chloe Gao (NSW)
Deanna Drake (NSW)
Ellie Cole (NSW)
Emily Francis (Qld)
Hannah Smith (NSW)
Keira Wang (Vic)
Lucy Dovison (Vic)
Macie Wheeler (SA)
Maggie Grey (Qld)
Olivia Roche (Vic)
Paige Gillam (Vic)
Ruby Drogemuller (NSW)
Ruby Rose Johnstone (WA)
Benjamin Wilson (Vic)
Frank Burton (Vic)
James Wood (Qld)
Jonah Mercieca (Vic)
Lachlan Abbott (NSW)
Luis Fazzalari (SA)
Zafar Marikar (SA)
Story courtesy of Diving Australia