Skye Carter [SC]: I’d say my experiences this year have
been really good. I didn’t expect to go to as many places and travel the way I
did, so the fact I was able to do that was quite surprising and a great
experience for me – hopefully I can carry that on next year.

With so many
competitions, I’d say that after every one, you just need to take yourself back
and stay grounded after each event, that helps to keep you focused.

Let’s rewind the clock. How did you
first get into your sport – and at what point did you know that it could really
go somewhere?

SC: When I was really young, maybe like six months, my dad was
already taking me to the pool and helping me to swim and things, so I’ve never
really not swum!

But I only
started swimming competitively when I was about 11, when I was doing swimming
lessons and they just recommended for me to go to a club. I thought, ‘yeah, I
might as well try that out’, and then I’ve just kept on going from there

Last year when
I got selected for EYOF, maybe that’s when I was like ‘woah!’, because I didn’t
expect to be selected for that team. I haven’t had a proper realisation as such
that this was going somewhere, it has just kept progressing and it doesn’t seem
to be slowing down at the moment, which is great.

DBA: So I did gymnastics before I started diving, I did that
for about five years, then stopped it when I was nine and took a two-year gap.
Then I went with my niece to her gymnastics club at Crystal Palace, and
opposite the gym there is the diving area, and I saw someone diving off the 10m
– which I don’t do, but I saw it! – and I was like, ‘wow, I want to try that’
because it looked similar to gymnastics.

I didn’t know
how to swim, so I had to learn how to swim first – that took me six months, and
then I came back and just started diving from there.

When I did
gymnastics before, I thought I was going to get to the Olympics in that, so
I’ve always really had the dream from the Olympics. As soon as I realised I
could do well in this sport, it just clicked.

RL: I haven’t got a very fun story, to be honest! I just did
some testing at our school and got into the Talent ID programme. A few of us
from the same school, we are all still diving and were together in Southampton.

That’s how I
got into it, by accident really! As soon as I realised you could do flips and
stuff, I wanted to take it from there! I was just really energetic when I was
younger, always trying to do stupid stuff like that, so as soon as I realised
you could do flips and it wasn’t just flipping onto your feet, I was hooked.

Desharne, you became the first black
diver to win a medal for Team GB at the European Games this summer. How
important is it for young people getting into our sports to see a diverse range
of athletes competing and succeeding at the highest levels?

DBA: I think it’s really important. When I was growing up and I
saw diving, the only person I saw at the Olympics diving at a high level was
Jennifer Abel.

That really
inspired me, not to be a role model for others just yet, but it was like, ‘oh,
someone else looks like me and they’re doing the sport I’m doing’. And now that
I am older and higher up in my sport, where I am more noticed than before, I
would like to be that same person that other younger generations can look up to
and have that same feeling of inclusion that I felt when I watched Jennifer