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Swimming - 20. June 2007.

FINA DIVING SERIES AWARDED TO SHEFFIELD


19th June 2007



Sheffield's Ponds Forge International Sports Centre will host the prestigious event from 1st to 2nd September and the cream of world diving is expected to descend on the city for the first of only three events in the series.

As well as allowing British divers to compete in a world class event on home soil, the FINA World Diving Series provides an exciting opportunity for British Swimming staff and volunteers to gain valuable experience of hosting international events in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics in five year's time.

British Swimming Commercial Director Katie Brazier sees the event as key in the governing body's preparations ahead of 2012.

"We are delighted to have secured a stage of the FINA World Diving Series with the support of our key partners UK Sport and Sheffield City Council," said Brazier

"Bidding for and hosting international events is a key part of our preparation towards the London 2012 Olympics. This event will allow our divers to gain more experience of performing at international level with the added benefit of competing on home soil.

"It is a very valuable opportunity to continue to build our knowledge and expertise in staging high profile events and to develop exciting opportunities for our volunteers."

Martin Morton, UK Sport's Senior Events Consultant reiterated the importance of elite British athletes being given the opportunity to compete against some of the finest athletes in the world.

"We are delighted that Sheffield will host one of only three rounds of the FINA World Diving Series in 2007." Morton said.

"This is a prestigious event, with entry to the world's top eight by invitation only. Host nation status, however, will allow us to enter British divers who may not have qualified by right, providing an opportunity for some athletes to compete against the very best on home soil.

"We look forward to working with our partners to put on a truly world-class display in September."

Ponds Forge has hosted a string of international and domestic events since opened in 1991, and the FINA World Diving Series provides the city with another opportunity to display its ability to successfully host major sporting events.

Councillor Mike Pye, Cabinet Advisor for Culture at Sheffield City Council, is delighted that Sheffield has proven itself to be a world-class venue for international sporting events.

"It is excellent news that the council's major sports event unit has attracted yet another world event to the city," he said.  "It shows how Sheffield has the facilities and capabilities to hold an event of this size and is a first class sporting city. There will be a real focus of attention on both the city and its regeneration projects which are key to Sheffield being a destination city."

The FINA World Diving Series is one of a number of international events set to be held in this country in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics, with the 2007 LEN European Nations Trophy for water polo and the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) both being held in this country over the 10 months.
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