MARIA Lochrie has all the knowledge and expertise to be a diving coach – but even she would find it difficult to teach her sport without a springboard and platform.
However, that is the position she finds herself in after taking on the role of Tornadoes of South Dorset lead diving coach a few weeks ago.
One of the 21-year-old’s first duties in the post was to get the diving equipment at the club’s Osprey Leisure Centre base assessed.
The inspection resulted in the pool’s 1m springboard and 3m platform, which, according to Lochrie, have been in use since the 1980s, being condemned – and replacing them will cost around £10,000.
The club’s divers are on a summer break until September 6 following their last competition on home turf earlier this month.
And Lochrie, who carried the Olympic torch and Paralympic flame through her hometown in 2012, is now trying to raise the funds required for the two replacements.
“The diving boards have been there for a very long time,” she said. “We had our last competition using them on July 12 and they were assessed the Wednesday after – both have been condemned.
“When I took over as coach I requested the boards to be checked because I knew they weren’t in the greatest condition.
“Even when I dived they were a bit dodgy so I wasn’t surprised when the results of the inspection came back.
“It was quite sad because I used to dive there quite a lot and I have a lot of good memories.”
Lochrie will be able to do some out-of-water training with her divers when they return in September, and she has been offered the chance to use Wessex Diving Club’s facilities in Poole while attempting to find the money she needs.
And it is going to be a busy time for Lochrie, who will also be coaching at the Tom Daley Diving Academy in London over the summer holidays.
Anyone able to help the club with fundraising, or who wants to join, should email firstname.lastname@example.org