Tom Daley effect has everyone diving in

The success of Tom Daley at the London Olympics has led to an increase in interest in diving at Corby pool
The success of Tom Daley at the London Olympics has led to an increase in interest in diving at Corby pool

Buoyed up by the London 2012 Games, scores of children and adults have applied to have diving lessons at Corby swimming pool.

The Tom Daley effect is taking hold at the pool where diving development coach Ricardo Gutierrez has responded to 75 applications in the past few weeks, with many more still to be processed.

From five-year-olds up to 76, people just can’t wait to take the plunge and learn how to dive.

Lessons are held every day at the pool and Ricardo is hoping to uncover Olympic divers of the future.

He said: “The London Games has had an incredible effect on people’s interest in diving.

“Tom Daley is an Olympic star and an inspiration, not just in Corby but around the world.

“All the kids want to be Tom Daley. I have little children of five at my classes and my oldest pupil is 76. Age is no barrier.”

People travel from all over the area to the town’s pool for lessons. The flip and fun sessions for children are proving extremely popular and Corby Steel Diving Club, for competetive divers, is earning a reputation for the standard of its members.

They gave a breath-taking display for the Queen during her visit to Corby in June and the royal visitor was so impressed she sent a personal message to Ricardo thanking him.

So what’s the appeal of diving?

Ricardo, who is from Mexico, said: “People love the feeling that they are flying. They feel like Superman. They jump, they fly and they land safely. It’s exhilarating.”

Adam Cooper, seven, from Desborough, attends diving classes at the pool. He said: “I feel like I’m flying. It’s fun.”

And Harry Baxendale, nine, from Market Harborough, said: “I’ve only just started having lessons but I really enjoy it.”

As well as diving from the poolside, beginners get to try the one and two-metre boards.

Ricardo said: “It’s good that they start young and build up their confidence.

“I’m always on the lookout for future Olympic talent.”