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Anna makes a splash in Australia2 min read

Apr 9, 2024 2 min

Anna makes a splash in Australia2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Anna Lightbody, 13, will dive for the New Zealand Age Group Squad (photo supplied)

Onehunga teenager, Anna Lightbody, is taking her diving skills across the Tasman this month, to compete for New Zealand in the Australian Age Group Champs.

Anna’s journey in the sport started just before she turned 10, and she’s now 13, and in year 9 at Onehunga High School. Her interest in diving really began as a toddler, when, according to mum, Sarah, she was happiest “hurling herself off heights into the water.” By the age of five, Anna had mastered the lowest diving board at Jellicoe Pools, and a chance meeting with a diving coach, propelled Anna to start diving for good.

“I always wanted to try diving,” says Anna. “I love trying new dives and just really enjoy it.”

It’s this love of the sport that keeps Anna motivated for the intense training, which she does five days a week for two-and-a half hours a day, alternating between West Wave in Henderson or Glenfield Pool.

The first hour of training is on dryland, doing conditioning and strength work, using the ‘dry board’ onto mats and the trampoline. The team then do an hour and a half in the pool, trying new dives on either a 1m or 3m springboard, or on the platform, which is either 5m, 7m or 10m in height. This is a significant leap from the modest 3m platform at Jellicoe Pools!

Currently the squad are in competition phase, so Anna is fine-tuning the dives she will execute in Australia. She’ll do a total of 20 dives on various platforms: seven on the 1m springboard, seven on the 3m springboard and six dives on the daunting 5m or 7m platform.