Diver Richelle Houlden

What is the best and worst thing about your sport?
The best thing about my sport is that I get to travel to lots of really nice places and meet lots of other athletes from different countries. The worst thing is I don't get much free time or get to eat chocolate.

What is your best achievement this year? 
Winning three gold medals at the Senet Diving Cup in Eindhoven and being selected to compete on behalf of Great Britain for the first time later this month in Dresden, Germany.

What does your normal day and week look like?
Pretty much breakfast, school, training, homework, bed. I train 4pm-7pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 2pm-7pm on a Monday and Friday (I have special permission to leave school early on these days to train), 9.30am-4pm on Saturday. I normally have Sunday off, where I usually watch TV or spend a little time with family or friends. The hours are more when I am competing.

What do you enjoy most about being a sports person?
I most enjoy making new friends with people from all over the world which is really good and being part of a great team where everybody supports each other and encourages you to do your best is also really great.

Who is your sporting hero?
I have two. My female hero is Jennifer Abel. Jennifer is a very strong Canadian diver and I hope to be like her one day. My male hero is my brother Jordan who is a great diver and despite his many injuries he works and fights hard to come back even stronger and never gives up. 

Where is your favourite place to compete?
The Stadio del Nuoto in Rome where the 1960 Olympics where held and more recently where Tom Daley won his world championship Gold at the age of 15. It's an amazing outdoor pool surrounded by gorgeous scenery and has had the best weather whenever I've been there.

If you could win one competition what would it be and why? 
It would be the Olympics because it's the best competition in the world. To compete against other divers at the highest level of their sport from all around the world and win would be the highest achievement I could get in my sport and it would be pretty amazing.

What is your favourite thing to do when you have some down-time? 
I like to cook, read, watch TV and spend time with family and friends.

Have you ever had an injury?
Up to now I've been pretty lucky and managed to avoid injuries unlike my brother. I'd say the worst thing that has happened to me is landing a dive flat in the water and ending up with bumpy swelling over my whole body and face.

What are your targets for the next 6 months?
To medal on all three boards at Junior Elites. To make all three finals in Dresden on my first GB outing and to try and get more England/GB selections.

How did you hear about SportsAid?
I knew about SportsAid because of my brother Jordan Houlden who is also a GB diver and former SportsAid award recipient funded by the Nottingham Building Society. I remember him receiving his award and working closely with the Firth Park branch to fundraise. It was really exciting and I hoped that one day it would be me, it certainly inspired me to work hard.

How does your SportsAid grant and support from The Nottingham help you? What sort of things does it help you pay for?
It's really helpful towards the cost of competing. National events are around £350 and International club events around £650. It's really important to get experience competing abroad if your hoping for GB selection as diving in outdoor pools is very different to indoor. When you are trying to spot where the pool is to come out of a somersault outdoors it can be difficult to figure out between blue sky and blue pool and know where you are. So to get these kind of experiences is very helpful to my development as a diver.

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