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At Only 14, Southend Junior Elite Squad Diver, Brooke Cullen Set To Make A Big Splash In the Elite Diving Comp

In 2017, Brooke competed at The Talent Games in Leeds and took home a top 6 place across the dryland skills and pool skills. From this, she was selected to swim England’s Team Z for 2 years with the hope of being able to compete at the GB Junior Elites. As a promising diver,  she followed the program and at the end of her time in Team Z, went on to compete at her first Elite Competition. At the GB Junior Elites, she managed to take home 2 top 6 spots and was invited to attend Team Y. 

How did you get into diving? 

I was selected by my local diving club, they visited all the local primary schools under the TID Programme (Talent Identification Programme). I attended the 2nd phase and passed through to the 3rd phase, which was a 6-week diving trial and was then finally selected to the Southend diving TID Squad at age 8.  They initially look at around 2000 children in the local schools and this gets whittled down to just 12 children.  

What do you love about your sport and competing? 

I absolutely love my sport! I love the atmosphere, the buzz, and the friends I’ve made at my club.  I have also made many great friends from across the country when we get together for competitions. 

How does your usual day look like during competition season? 

A normal training day, outside of COVID lockdown, would be normal school hours; Monday to Wednesday, I then attend homework club at school to get all my work completed and finally I would eat before my training in the car on the way to the pool for a 3-hour training session. On Thursday and Friday, I come out of school at lunchtime for a 2-hour session at the pool in the afternoon followed by a 3-hour session in the evening.

How have your days looked during lockdown?

Lockdown has changed my routine massively!  I have gone from spending a huge amount of time at Southend Diving Club to home workouts and no water! It’s been challenging but there has been great training support for us all with clubs across the country adding workouts and training online. I can’t wait to get back on the boards and into the water!

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? 

Although I am still young in my sport, I have already had some really proud moments. I am the only female diver in my initial TID squad at Southend Diving to have gone to the Talent Games, Team Z into the Elites and finally a Team Y assessment.

Another really proud moment for me was at my last competition in Plymouth, The Armada Cup.  It was my first competition in the higher age group.  In the 3-metre competition I was the only young group diver to final and during the final, I had to complete a brand new dive, a front 3.5 somersaults tuck, I was the only one competing this dive in my competition and I managed to take a huge score of 63 points. Incredibly proud moment.

If you weren't an athlete, what would you be doing? 

I’m not sure what I would be doing if I hadn’t been selected to dive.  I have ADHD and was always hanging upside down and jumping and climbing things, so I think diving was destiny!

What injuries have you had and how did/do they affect you? 

Unfortunately, I have struggled with quite a lot of growth injuries such as my knees, wrists, and back. My worst was Osgood Schlatters disease in my knees which lasted 2 years during growth.  I managed to continue to train with physio, taping, and plenty of bags of ice! 

How does NuroKor help your recovery? 

NuroKor has been a game-changer! I’ve been pushing myself at home with training as I need to stay strong and fit so I can return to training at the same ability. I’ve been using NuroKor on my thighs for muscle ache, and after just one session the difference was amazing. I’ve also used it on my shoulders and my back, so far with great results.

What are the goals for you in the near future?

My goals for the future are to get back to training and get back to the standard I was at in my last competition. I want to be able to go to the next GB Junior Elites and gain another place on the Team Y assessment camps. My ultimate goal is of course, to compete for GB as a diver. 

I have so many years in my sport in front of me so I am in a good position to keep pushing for my dream.