“I have learned a lot since I was this little boy in Delhi”
As we approach the Commonwealth Games on home soil, we take a look at the athletes who will be competing for Team England this summer.
Five-time Commonwealth gold medalist Jack Laugher is looking forward to representing Team England again this summer.
Laugher, who made his Commonwealth Games debut in 2010 at the Delhi Games, says he has changed a lot since then but is still excited to represent his country.
He said: “Obviously I’m extremely happy to be representing Team England at my fourth Commonwealth Games.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot since I was that little boy in Delhi, times have changed.
“I’m very proud to be part of such an amazing team and I’m really happy to see the faces of those preparing for their first Commonwealth Games and that they can relieve the moment I felt as I was only 15. Aged.”
Having competed in London in 2012, Laugher is no stranger to local audiences, but after the Olympics last year he says he can’t wait to have spectators to support him and his teammates.
He said: “It’s going to be amazing, obviously with no crowds and we couldn’t even have our parents at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so it was definitely a bit surreal.
“I think for the first multi-sport games, the public is back and people are cheering for you and behind you, it’s really exciting and I can’t wait for them to support us.”
Importance of grassroots clubs
The Leeds city diver has gone through the talent program and journey and thanks everyone who has helped him on his journey, especially his first ever swimming pool and first club in Harrogate.
Laugher said: “The Harrogate District Diving Club is where I started, which is a small basic pool.
“Without this pool, I wouldn’t be here today.
“It was hugely important to start my journey and without them all the success I’ve had with the England team and the Great Britain team wouldn’t have happened so I can’t stress enough. on the importance of grassroots clubs.”
Laugher has been in top form so far this year with three gold medals at the UK Diving Championships, followed by another silver and bronze at the recent World Championships in Budapest.
He enters this competition with good momentum as he looks to propel himself to even greater success with the lion on his chest.
“I’m really happy with my performance so far this year, but there were still a lot of things I could improve on that I’m really grateful for,” he said.
“It was good to have a few competitions under my belt because we’ve had so few in the past few years, but they’ve gone really well.
“I’m really happy with the way I did and my mindset throughout, so I hope to take the lessons I learned from them and use them for the Commonwealth Games.”
As one of the most experienced members of the team, Laugher shares his knowledge with the younger team members, saying the Commonwealth Games is the perfect place for them to relax and unwind. have fun.
He said: “The Commonwealth Games are an incredible event to test the waters for multi-sport games.
“We are so lucky to have three athletes per event, which gives these young divers the opportunity to participate in multi-sport games.
“I think for them, they just need to soak it all up and enjoy the experience.
“Obviously you want to go out there and do a good job, but don’t take it too seriously and enjoy it and learn as much as you can from the experience.
“It’s a great environment to be a part of and I think they’re all going to have a great time.”
As Britain’s most successful diver, Laugher has become an inspiration to many youngsters and hopes this year’s games will see a new wave of support come for the sport.
Laugher said: “Every time diving is on TV there is a massive increase in people applying to be on dive teams and learning to dive, which is so important.
“I did a learn to dive program and I think it’s amazing to see diving on TV and get people to see and understand the sport a little more.
“People love diving, and when it’s at the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games, it’s a great sport to watch.
“I hope it will bring more people into the sport and they will stay healthy and improve their physical condition as well.”
You can see the full England diving squad here.
Photo credit: England team.