Student wins Silver at Youth Olympics
One could say this about any rising athlete, but Anthony Harding, more than most, is multi-talented; juggling college and pursuing a career as a diver.
Anthony began diving at the age of six and for the last 12 years the young electrical engineering student has been attempting superhuman, waif-like stunts off the diving board, going professional over a year ago.
His road to making the Great Britain team has not been an easy one. Hard physical work has meant that he has spent most of his childhood in a pool and, like many athletes, he understands what it means to persevere to reach a goal or dream.
“I found it difficult at the beginning, especially when I was doing my A levels, as I was training five days a week. This meant that life consisted of training and school most of the time.
“Studying at Leeds City College is so much easier because it is only two days a week. It is two long days but, it gives me the opportunity to practice on my days off college.
“The staff are supportive and very helpful. From the beginning they have understood what I need, especially in terms of flexibility.”
Anthony qualified for team GB at the junior worlds where there were only nine spots up for grabs, finishing third.
“For the upcoming Olympics, it is one girl and one boy diver being put forward. I qualified in the best spot.
“It is pretty special because you are up against tough athletes, so it was amazing”
The Manchester born diver has also just won silver at the Youth Olympics and is now preparing for the Great Britain Nationals, scheduled for January 2019.
“I didn’t have much time to prepare so I think I was at my best for what I had prepared for, as its currently not diving season.
“I have just over two months to prepare for my next competition. This diving fixture is for qualification for the diving Grand Prix and Europeans.
The Grand Prix will take place in Rostock, Germany in March and the Europeans in Kiev, Ukraine sometime in August.
The A star student said that determination, focus and passion keep him ahead in the sport.
“I do it because I enjoy it and want to improve. I also believe talent is key to staying at the top.”
Anthony, who is looking to complete his level 3 qualification in the next two years and become a self-employed electrical engineer, said his long-term vision is to be a part of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.
“My goal is to be part of the next three Olympics and we will see what happens thereafter.”
Anthony who is focusing on improving on the 3m board said that he has made steady progress since moving away from the 10m board and that he was focusing on being consistent.
“My aim isn’t gold medals, it’s to remain consistent, and learn new skills in a sport that always has upcoming talent.”
“Getting a medal is a bonus but the expectations of aiming for one only adds unnecessary pressure and can affect performance. The process and not the outcome are very important.”
He also advised upcoming divers to find what they are good at, focus on their strengths and never give up on reaching their desired goals.