Exclusive: Three time Olympian to coach some of Scotland’s best divers

Exclusive: Three time Olympian to coach some of Scotland’s best divers

2 May, 2018 by Gilson Gray in Blog

Edinburgh Diving Club have pulled off a coup with the news that three time Olympian and former World and Commonwealth champion Rebecca Gallantree has joined the set-up as Assistant Performance Coach.

The 33-year-old from England only retired last January after an illustrious career which saw her win gold with Tom Daley in the team event at the World Championships in Kazan in 2015.

She also won a gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with her women’s 3m synchro partner Alicia Blagg.

And Gallantree was a part of Team GB at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as picking up World Series, European Championship and national diving medals.

She has been coaching in Leeds since last summer, but has been recruited to work alongside Edinburgh Diving Club’s Performance Coach Jen Leeming and help the Scottish capital’s best divers continue to progress.

Scottish diving is on a high right now following the performances of gold medallist Grace Reid, bronze medallist James Heatly, Lucas Thomson and Gemma McArthur in Gold Coast 2018.

And Gallantree’s expertise can only be a bonus to Leeming as the duo look to bring through the next generation.

“I spoke with Jen [Leeming] a while back and I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to further my coaching career,” Gallantree said.

“I retired just over a year ago, a few months after I had competed at the Rio Olympics. I needed a bit of time out at that stage so I went travelling for five months and when I got back last summer I started to properly get into training.

“The break from diving was good, but I missed the sport and I felt ready to get back into it.

“There was an opportunity for me to start coaching the junior elite squad in Leeds last summer and it was a great opportunity for me.

“From August until the middle of April I was there and really enjoyed it and it really did kick start my love of coaching.

“Coming up to Edinburgh will give me a chance to continue my coaching career and take it on a level.

“I have had so much from diving and now I want to give something back.

“Replicating the buzz you get from competing is always going to be tough, but seeing the divers that you work with getting better and posting good results is really exciting.”

Having grown up in Essex, a move to Leeds to study and continue her diving after school saw Gallantree go on and be selected by Team England for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 in Melbourne.

Things moved on from there and she spent just over 10 years at the top table of the sport before deciding to retire in January 2017.

Moving to Edinburgh means that she will be working in and around the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

Returning to the venue brings back great memories for her having claimed her Glasgow 2014 gold with Blagg in the very same pool.

“To have had that moment here and then to be up here working is just brilliant,” she stated.

“I even remember coming up here for a competition when I was about 12 so myself and the Commonwealth Pool have a long history.

“And what a time it is for me to come up here and coach. I watched all of the diving from the Gold Coast in April on television and all of the Scots did so well.

“It will be good to work closely with James and Lucas ahead of a busy summer for them while I am excited to get going with some of the juniors and help them develop.

“Coaching has moved on loads since I began diving and the technology we now have at our fingertips definitely helps because you can watch dives back instantly, but the most important thing is still building up a good coach/diver relationship.

“You spend a lot of time together and if you can work well, but also do it with a smile on your face then that is great and can really help push on to some good results.

“Scottish diving and diving in the UK in general is on the up right now and I am really excited to be playing my part and want to get stuck into this new role in the coming months.”