Karina Moore - teenage high diver!
Several times a week, teenager Karina Moore trains at her local pool to jump from the high-diving board into the water — in an attempt to become a national diving champion.
Karim first learned about diving during a family break in Spain, where the resort's pool had a high-diving board. Young people were diving off it, and it looked fun, but Karina didn't join in, even though she was a strong swimmer. Then after returning home, she discovered a long-distance runner she'd always admired had started diving for relaxation — so she became more interested.
Karim joined a beginners' diving class at her local pool. They had several sessions jumping onto soft materials before trying the high board. 'The water looked a long way down,' says Karina, 'but after our training, I felt I'd handle it — without injuring myself. They'd warned me I'd land in the water fast — at around 60 kph — but I was prepared. I couldn't wait to get started — although the others weren't so keen! Anyway, I wasn't disappointed by the experience.'
In Karina's area, there's now lots of interest in high diving, but it's sometimes difficult for swimmers to find suitable practice facilities. Although the pools are deep enough, they're in use so often by diving clubs that other people don't get opportunities to practise. Fortunately, though, Karina's coach noticed her talent and helped her develop her techniques. After only two years, she's winning competitions in her area.
But what's it like to concentrate so much on diving? 'I train 20 hours a week' says Karina, 'and I won't pretend it's easy — you have to enjoy it to spend so much time doing it! It's not easy For my parents either, though — they drive me to training sessions early in the morning, and that costs money. But they've had financial help from sports organisations, luckily. And my schoolwork and social life are good. I still meet my mates — and there's always the phone! The only thing I hadn't realised was that the pool water would damage my hair —I used to love my long hair, but I've had to cut it short because it looked awful! But I'll definitely keep on diving!'