Albatross secure a generous £750 grant from local builder Persimmon Homes

The competitive diving club where Rio 2016 gold medallist Chris Mears started his career has received
a £750 grant from a regional builder


Albatross Diving Club, an entirely volunteer run teaching and competitive club in Reading, successfully applied to the Persimmon Homes Thames Valley Healthy Communities scheme. Under the scheme, a host of regional prizes of £750 were up for grabs each month to provide funding for amateur sports teams and individuals for sports kit, equipment, coaching or facilities.

Entries to the scheme have now closed and a shortlist of 30 will be put forward to the national final to be decided on a public vote. The winning club or individual will receive £200,000 while two runners-up will each receive £50,000.

Emma West, from Albatross Diving Club, said: “We have an established history of 40 years and form part of the aquatic heritage of Reading, Berkshire and the South East. In that time we have trained and competed at the highest national level and were one of the first diving clubs to be awarded SwimMark accreditation.

“Unfortunately, Reading Central Pool where we train has now closed and the local council is looking to design and build a new facility by 2020. As a club we are determined to continue to provide the children of Reading with facilities to continue in a sport they are clearly so passionate about.

“This very generous donation from Persimmon Homes will make such a difference to us, enabling us to buy an inflatable airtrack, a common feature in diving dry gyms across the country. It is universally recognised that dry training is as beneficial to divers as pool time and this provision will make up for the reduced water training available to all the divers and to those competing in the higher levels.”

Rachel Faulkner, Sales Director for Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, said: “We are delighted to be able to help these young divers continue with their sport, albeit at an alternative venue and using dry training. Our Healthy Communities programme is all about creating a legacy for young people who love sport and the volunteers who help to deliver it.”

To find out more, visit