REPRESENTING Southend Diving, a team of junior divers made their way to the Swim England National Age Group Championships in Plymouth.

The majority of the young team were making their debut at this event and the team of 13 kicked off the national event in style with three pairs diving in the synchronised events.

The parings completed the events with two silvers and a bronze medal.

The top pairings combined Alice Billton (12) from Southend Diving and Olivia Sykes (12) from Luton Diving Club and the Southend Diving boys Hayden Low (12) and Noah Havis (13) and closely followed in the girls event by Emily Anstis (13) & Sadie Stratford (13).

The team also impressed in individual events and collectively they broke nine club records, most of which had stood for seven years.

Alice Billton set three records on one metre and platform with the best Southend diver in group C for rank, required dives and total points.

Echo: Doing well - Alice BiltonDoing well - Alice Bilton

Matthew Lewis (14) set a new record for the highest placed Southend diver in the boys B 1m, Francesca Probert (12) set the record for the highest scoring dive in the girls B platform while Hayden Low, Emma Mansfield, and Skye Brook all set personal best scores.

Overall the team collected nine medals and more outstanding performances came from the youngest age group.

Kaycie Illingworth (11) won a bronze for her 1m event and team mate Alice Murphy (11), who was the top Southend diver of the meet, won silver on platform and 3m.

In the group C girls event, Alice Billton won bronze on 1m and also in the synchronised 1m event.

Sadie Stratford closely followed Alice’s success taking a bronze in the synchronised 1m event with her partner Emily Anstis and also an individual Bronze on 1m.

Echo: Medal winner - Alice MurphyMedal winner - Alice Murphy


Head Coach Shân Veasey said “Following a run of closures and equipment failures off the back of the national lockdown, the Southend divers have shown their resilience and come out stronger.

"All of their hard work and commitment has paid off.

"The athletes fully deserve these outstanding results”.

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