Grace Reid has paved the way for Scottish Diving

·4 min read
Diving - Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games - Women's 3m Springboard Medal Ceremony - Optus Aquatic Centre - Gold Coast, Australia - April 13, 2018. Gold medalist Grace Reid of Scotland poses on the podium. REUTERS/David Gray (David Gray / reuters)

Commonwealth Games champion Grace Reid has been privileged to witness Scottish diving thrive over her career – and now she wants to take it to another level.

The Edinburgh springboard diver made her Commonwealth bow at the 2010 Delhi Games aged 14 and was the only diver selected for Team Scotland.

Twelve years later, Reid is joined by seven other divers for the Birmingham 2022 Games, having witnessed the squad double every four years.

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Reid hopes sharing her story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.

Reid is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

She said: "It's scary thinking I've gone from the youngest on the team to now the oldest diver but it's so exciting.

"The sport has progressed so much and Scottish Diving has so much depth in it now, which is incredible, it's literally doubling every time we've had a Games.

"To think that there's so many young kids that have been encouraged to get into diving or maybe inspired to think one day they could go to the Commonwealth Games, now we've got the top-level athletes in Scotland.

"I really think that's something Scottish Diving and Scotland can be really proud of."

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 250 athletes, and having secured her place on the squad, Reid is looking for medal success.

Reid took the title of Champion four years ago on the Gold Coast in the women's 3m springboard event and became the first Scottish female diver to win a medal at the Games, but a busy summer meant that she was unable to enjoy the 2018 experience.

The 26-year-old has therefore made a promise to immerse herself in the Commonwealth experience this summer and make the most of being around new faces and sports.

She said: "I didn't get to relish in my gold as much as I would have liked to but once the season was finished and I took the time to enjoy watching my dives back and listen to myself singing on the podium, it’s incredibly special.

"To make the team was such an achievement at 14 and then to go on and win a medal and it be gold was something I had dreamt about.

"I now want to loosen the reigns a little bit to enjoy this experience. Sometimes it gets a bit intense, and it becomes really focused that you forget to do all the things that's really enjoyable about it.

"Had you asked me about my hopes before 2020 I would have said something medal oriented. Now I just want to enjoy this summer of competing and usually when I enjoy what I do, the results come anyway.

"It's a blessing to have this opportunity and I just really want to make the most of it."

The Scot had recent success at the 2022 World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, coming away with a bronze in the mixed 3m synchro event.

And although she struggled with a packed programme, Reid is encouraged by how she managed her events, taking away any learnings for Birmingham.

She said: "Worlds was really tough, it's been the first time I've done back-to-back to back days in a while so it really took it out of me and took a couple of days to recover.

"But now after a little bit of rest I'm definitely feeling motivated and inspired to put on the last finishing touches and carry on that momentum.

"The only way to get around a timetable like that is to go one event at a time.

"Yes, I had three events in one day so it was super busy but it was just ticking the boxes as I went allowed me to get through the days as best as I could.

"To stay mentally fresh and take care of my body at the grand old age of 26, it hits me a little bit harder and the team support was essential.

"There's little things I've taken from Worlds and will carry into the Commonwealths."

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