JUNIOR ELITE DIVER, BROOKE CULLEN

WSA SAT DOWN WITH JUNIOR ELITE DIVER, BROOKE CULLEN

Brooke is a 14-year-old junior elite diver who has a bright future ahead of her. Juggling school and training can be a challenge, but brilliant Brooke manages to do it! Take a look at her story…

 

Tell us about yourself and how you got into your sport? 

I am Brooke Cullen, I’m 14 and I’m a junior elite diver in the UK.  When I was still in primary school my local diving club came to our PE lessons looking for children who may have what it takes to start up diving. I was selected to trial for phase 2 & 3 over a few months and was then selected on to the talent squad (TID Squad) where my diving began. 

 

What do you love about your sport?

I love everything about diving.  I love working hard and seeing the progression I am having and love catching up with my friends and squad mates.  Diving gives you such a buzz from taking off to landing on the water.  

 

What is your training schedule? What other factors do you consider to make sure you are at your optimal level?

I train in the Southend Diving Elite squad and at the moment after returning from lockdown I am doing 18.5 hours a week. This is evenings, all day Saturday and I come out of school at lunchtime twice a week too. I have to make sure I keep up with school work so I don’t get behind to be allowed to do this. I have to test and eat well and look after my body.

 

What are the feelings going through your body when you’re on the diving board about to dive?

You get so much adrenaline with Diving. If it is a new dive you also get nervous. When diving on platform you definitely feel like you are flying!

 

What is your career highlight?

I have 2 career highlights so far. The first was making the England diving Z team. You had to compete against the best kids of your age and get a top 6 position to qualify. I was in the team for 2 years which included some really fun weekend training camps. The talent pathway also included going into a junior elite competition afterwards which I also managed to achieve. The second was my last competition which unfortunately was way back in February 2020 now. I performed a new dive which was front 3.5 somersaults tuck and scored a big 63 points on that single dive by taking 7, 7.5, 8 to count. 

 

Have you had any setbacks?

A few years ago, I developed Osgood Schlatter’s disease in my knees which was really painful. I still managed to train but had to take it easy when it flared up at its worst. It seems to have gone away for now which is great! I’ve had a few areas of growing pains as well but always managed to stay motivated and determined.

 

What’s your next goal? How do you plan to get there?

My ultimate goal is to compete for the GB diving team. Where I was previously on the Z talent team the next part of the pathway would be to try and get a place on the Y team so this is what I am working towards. There are so many young talented girls of my age in diving so it’s all about working hard, listening to your coach and progressing to keep trying to show yourself

 

What skills have you developed in diving that you take into everyday life?

I have ADHD and when I was a really young diver I was quite wild. I’ve learnt through diving and being coached and disciplined that I can control myself more. There are definitely still some days when I can be really hyper though! Having the discipline and the use of my excessive energy has helped me to be able to grow up and be a good and kind person. 

 

Advice for young girls who want to make it to the top?

Work hard, listen to your coaches and trust yourself that you can do it. Also enjoy the process and your sport too, that’s very important.

 

Favourite motivational quote?

Believe, achieve”. 

Something my mum has always said to me.

The Women’s Sports Alliance is a global community designed to celebrate Athletes, Coaches, Contributors and Supporters in women’s sport. Membership is free and we would love for you to join us.