Competitive diver Bryden Hattie took home three medals at the Nationals in Winnipeg earlier this summer.

Colwood diver making waves on national scene

Fifteen-year-old diver Bryden Hattie has put himself on the watch list as a member of Tomorrow’s Team Canada.

Fifteen-year-old diver Bryden Hattie of Colwood has put himself on the watch list as a member of Tomorrow’s Team Canada.

While that recent honour comes with a $5,000 grant, courtesy of Petro Canada and its Fuelling Athletes and Coaches Excellence (FACE) program, Hattie secured a spot on Team Canada this summer for the upcoming 2016 junior world championships in Russia with a stunning three-medal performance at the Speedo Elite Junior Nationals in Winnipeg.

The Boardworks Club diver said the grant, which helps cover the costs of travel and other expenses at competitions in which he is not either invited or a qualifier, will motivate him to work toward his goal of competing for Canada on the big stage.

“I was super excited when I heard,” he said before departing for Montreal to take part in a national training camp this week. “This is fuelling me for the Olympics in 2020 (in Tokyo).”

He was the youngest male athlete competing at the Canadian Olympic Trials in June and got a chance to immerse himself in a most challenging competitive environment.

“It was difficult,” he said of the trials, which pitted some of the country’s top divers – certain athletes were pre-qualified for the Olympic team – against each other on the three-metre board and 10-metre platform. “I was really scared so I didn’t feel comfortable.”

Hattie, in Grade 10 at Claremont secondary, hopes those nerves will subside as he competes more internationally. He added to his international resume at a youth meet last spring in Dresden, Germany, where he placed third on the platform and seventh at three metres.

It was a surprise gold medal win on the one-metre springboard in Group B (age 13 and 14) at the junior nationals in July – surprising only because it’s not considered his strongest event – that qualified him for the junior worlds in Kazan, Russia this December.

He actually qualified first in the preliminaries and was the last athlete to dive in the finals. Feeling good about his effort as he climbed out of the pool, he heard coach Tommy McLeod say to him, “Hey, you just won that event.”

“When I’m diving, I try to stay calm and talk to my teammates and stuff, but once I realized I had won a medal I was pretty excited,” Hattie recalled.

He also collected silver medals in the three-metre and 10-metre (platform) events at the nationals, which prompted officials to name him the top B-level diver at the competition. Yet another honour came when he was given the Isabel Warren Memorial Award for having the best scores on compulsory dives among Group B boys.

Hattie will compete in Group B in Russia since he qualified at that level, but moves up to Group A (age 15 to 17) for the 2016-17 club and regional season getting underway this fall.

“I feel really excited for him,” said Hattie’s mom, Laura. “He’s been working so hard, so it’s nice to see him achieve this honour.”

Hattie practises eight times a week for a total of about 24 hours, more than half of which is in the water after school at Commonwealth Pool. A significant portion is dedicated to dryland training or lifting weights at PISE.

Juggling training and school can be difficult, he added, but Claremont is well-versed in academy programs and is able to provide some flexibility in studies for high-level athletes.

Having been active in the sport since he was five, he’s used to having a busy schedule. But as he continues to reach for the stars as one of Canada’s athletes of tomorrow, that juggling act will become even more challenging.


Just Posted

Queue up a playlist of Victoria musicians

Local guitarist, Cody Rueger, creates playlist to highlight Victoria’s music scene

Wednesday sees mainly cloudy skies

Plus your weekend forecast

Ambulance service practises virtual reality CPR in Victoria

Training takes place on B.C. Parliament lawns

Langford considers regulating sale of spray paint following string of vandalism

Regulations could involve restricting sale to minors, locking up spray paint

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read