Cambridge Dive Team youngsters to ‘walk the boards’ in fundraising effort
Cambridge Dive Team members will not be walking the plank as such, but the number of footsteps along a virtual diving board could earn valuable funds for the club.
They have launched an initiative to cover 6,900,096 metres - or 4,287 miles - in 31 days in order to raise £4,000.
It is a club of two parts, with the Cambridge Dive Team providing a competitive programme for more than 60 athletes and a Learn To Dive programme that offers lessons to more than 250 children and adults.
It has been running in a professional format since 2004, and had success from novice to international level.
Club president Sharyn Bord, who was awarded a BEM in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List, said: “2020 has been a tough year for our divers with the loss of eight months diving time.
“However, not to be deterred, they have followed the instructions of Alice (Clarke) and Dan (Murphy), our professional coaches, who have done an amazing job, mainly by Zoom, to keep them fit, healthy, motivated and happy. We now want to raise money to improve facilities and provide a better setting for their return to the pool in 2021.”
They are aiming to raise £4,000 to provide a range of specialist equipment, with a mobile video replay system top of the list. It will allow divers to see their dives, and the system will also be used as a streaming service for parents. They are currently not allowed at the pool because of safety guidelines, so have been unable to see their children dive since March.
The streaming service would allow divers to be filmed and it shown on screens at the pool or direct to home screens.
“It is an amazing teaching tool and very versatile with immediate results,” said CDT head coach Alice Clarke.
“We can use slow motion and split screen display with the correct technique shown on one side and the diver’s action on the other side.
“We can use it for a seemingly simple straight jump to a complex twisting somersault dive. The ability to have the camera running and a short-time delayed replay lets divers immediately see their action, helping them to understand the coach’s comments.”
The money raised will also buy diving blocks to increase the numbers on poolside and maintain social distancing, and also mats and somersaulting blocks for dry-side activities.
The divers face a tough fundraising challenge though.
It has been calculated how far divers would have walked along the diving boards during competitions since the first lockdown in March, and multiplied by the number of divers to provide a daily goal.
The youngsters are now being asked to cover the ‘board walks’ by walking, cycling or running an equivalent distance.
CDT professional coach Dan Murphy said: “It is a big ask, but the divers have been keeping very fit with virtual Zoom exercise programmes and will embrace this challenge with their usual enthusiasm.
“The club is anxious to provide better extended facilities for our permanent return to the pool. The money raised from crowdfunding will help us to achieve these aims.”
For more information, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/cdt-crowdfunding-2020.