Star diver celebrates Sunderland’s young athletes

Team GB diver James Denny (back row in blue shirt) at Sunderland City Dive Team's first awards night ''CREDIT "Inkspot Photography"
Team GB diver James Denny (back row in blue shirt) at Sunderland City Dive Team's first awards night ''CREDIT "Inkspot Photography"
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A COMMONWEALTH Games medal-winning athlete dropped in for a Sunderland sports club’s first awards night.

GB diving star James Denny was at Sunderland City Dive Team’s first anniversary as an independent club.

James, from Leeds, is one of the rising stars of the sport and alongside diving partner Tom Daley, achieved a silver medal at last year’s Commonwealth games in Glasgow.

The 21-year-old was at the Alexandra pub, in Grangetown, for the event, where a number of club members took home honours.

Olympic hopeful James, said: “I’m hoping to build on what I did last year and get more experience ahead of the World Championships in July.

“That will be the first of the qualification process for Rio, so I’m hoping to do well. It’s really quite humbling to be asked here and to know that people look up to me.

“I work for a company called Sport for Schools and get to tell a lot of the pupils my story.

“Since the London Games and the publicity with Tom getting his bronze, the popularity of diving has gone through the roof.

“We have clubs like Sunderland who sum up what is going on and they’re producing divers of the future.”

Sharon Brown, chairwoman of the club, which has 40 members, aged between seven and 18, said: “The children have done fantastically well over the past year.

“They’ve represented the club at a national level and everybody is contributing.”

Treasurer Marie Glanville added: “We’re really excited to have had James here for the awards.

“I think the parents are as excited as the children. He’s given up his own time to support grassroots diving and we appreciate it.”

For more details about Sunderland City Dive Team, who train at the city’s Aquatic Centre, next to the Stadium of Light, go to www.sunderlandcitydiveteam.co.uk.