Competitive diving was far from 11 year-old Luke’s mind when he was enjoying himself with his mentor in the diving pool at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre a year ago. But his natural ability so impressed one of the diving coaches that he was offered free lessons leading to a place on a diving squad.
‘With diving, I just seemed to get it’, said Luke.
‘I flew through the levels and even helped by giving advice to some of the other kids.’
In less than 12 months Luke had placed second in the Diving SA competition for his group off the one metre springboard.
Supervisor at the Gilles Plains Assessment Unit Philip Miller had noticed Luke’s physical coordination before.
‘Luke was very good at ice skating too but he was just starting to get bored with that when diving came along.
‘It’s very important for our young people to develop outside interests. We were really happy to support Luke with the fees and other requirements and to encourage his participation and celebrate his achievements.’
But the diving was more that just a sporting success.
‘People in the squad were very friendly and when they saw that I could really dive they made me welcome and encouraged me,’ said Luke.
‘It was easy to make new friends and I’m going to keep diving when I go to high school next year.’
‘I’ve jumped off the three metre and five metre boards but I don’t like heights much so I don’t know if I’ll go any higher.’
Luke has plans for the future including study to become a chef and buying a house for his brother and sisters but right now there is his dog Micky, in the Labs for Life program, and getting his entry right in the back jump tuck.