SAM CONTINUES TO MAKE A SPLASH
DIVER Sam Fricker, who won the Inner West Courier Junior Sports Star award last week, has a girl to thank for getting him to practice sessions when he was younger.
“At first I didn’t want to go, but knew she would be there. Then I started to like the diving,” Sam, 14, said.
The girl, who will remain nameless, is now a pleasant memory, but Sam has launched himself headfirst into his sport.
He has hopes for a berth in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, and representing Australia in 2020 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But it has not been an easy ride.
In 2014, when he started to show some serious talent, his mother drove him from his home in Newcastle to practice sessions at the Homebush pool, as no local winter diving classes were offered.
Now the family has moved to Strathfield, and he trains almost 24 hours a week at the NSW Institute of Sport.
Last May, Sam won the 1m, 3m, platform and synchronised diving events at the Elite State Championships and, previously, at the national age diving titles.
The inner-west lad and Trinity Grammar student was named the outstanding male diver of the year by Diving Australia at the National Age Diving Championships in 2015, and received a Combined Independent Schools outstanding Sports Achievement Award in 2015.
Wrist injuries are common among divers, but Sam still loves to dive from the highest, 10m platform.
Not only can entry into the water be painful for the diver, but the G-forces while airborne can also put pressure on the body.
As a result, strength training is an essential part of the practice regimen.
Sam is part of the Diving NSW Elite and Development squads.
Sam was one of 19 finalists at the awards ceremony, which was held at Sydney Olympic Park’s WatervieW, where winners were each rewarded with $1000 to help them with their sporting careers.
Footballer Ellie Carpenter scored the overall Junior Sports Star award for her outstanding performance in 2016.
Junior cricketer Oliver Rackley was awarded the Courier’s Young Sporting Spirit finalist award for his bravery and perseverance. He is a member of the Leichhardt Wanderers.
Supporting sponsors of the awards were Rebel, SportsTG and Simonds Homes.
Published in the Inner West Courier | 28 February 2017