Young diver Oscar is making waves

A RIPON Grammar School student inspired by his Olympic diving hero, past pupil Jack Laugher, is now making waves in the sport himself. ROBBIE EAMES reports on the 14-year-old's latest success in the national schools diving competition and finds out more about how he drives himself to excel

A TALENTED young Ripon Grammar School diver was the top scorer from the North in a prestigious national competition.

The 14-year-old Oscar Groundwater, from Ripon, was competing against a number of elite divers in the English Schools National Diving Championships in London’s Olympic pool and scored a personal best.

Up against athletes with international and European competition experience, this was the highest diving difficulty he has undertaken to date.

Placed seventh out of 13 divers, Oscar was the highest scorer from the whole of the North in his category. The North-East division came second overall, just behind London.

Oscar started diving when he was ten years old, getting his first taste at the Hydro pool in Harrogate. Within minutes, having never stepped foot on a diving board before, he had done a front 1.5 on the three-metre board! He was instantly invited to the squad and competed in Nationals at novice level later that year. He came fourth and was promoted to 'Age Group' level.

The following year, at ‘The Talent Games’ in Leeds, he was selected as a guest diver at the Swim England Talent Squad due to his athletic ability and diving potential.

He dives three times a week, for three-and-a-half hours per session, and has been doing this every week since Year 6.

He competes in several competitions over the year, one being ‘G-Star’: a competition where elites and age-groups compete alongside one another, and the likes of ex-Ripon Grammar student Jack Laugher still competes. Last year he reached the final and was placed sixth, against age group and elite divers from all over the UK.

Oscar also competes in regionals, last year coming second on 1m, 3rd on platform and fourth on 3m. He has qualified for the national competition from this event every year, representing himself and his club well, consistently coming in the top ten, often the top five, especially in his favoured one-metre board.

This year Oscar aims to move into elite diving.

Oscar’s best dives to date are inward two-and-a-half and back twister.

Oscar loves the skills diving gives him, to flip and spin, and he loves how it contributes to his rugby.

Shortly after Jack Laugher got his Olympic medals, Oscar was lucky enough (courtesy of PE teacher Mrs MacKenzie) to be able to dive alongside Jack at the RGS pool, and then do a one-to-one interview with him! This was all filmed for Jack’s promotional work with NPower. Jack is a one of Oscar's biggest inspirations when it comes to diving.