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Young Elmira diver earns recognition

When he’s not attending the Riverside Public School, Elmira’s Preston Cooledge can be found at the pool doing what comes naturally to him. An avid diver for the past five years, the 10-year-old’s efforts have been recognized with a Kitchener Athletic Achievement Award. 

A member of the KW Diving Club since 2015, Preston says the sport is a natural fit.

“I used to do gymnastics, and I only wanted to do the trampoline part. I was a water baby, so my dad put me into diving.”

Having won a silver medal at the Aspire Provincial Championship in London, Preston was eligible for an Athletic Achievement Award, which prompted KW Diving Club president Brian Dixon to nominate him for his accomplishments. Since 1968, the city has been recognizing the efforts of amateur athletes who’ve received gold, silver or bronze medals at a provincial or national championship level.

His efforts also won him kudos from his coach, Rob Wells.

Even at an early age, Preston showed no fear of diving from any height, taking to all of the boards and platforms. Having found a good fit, he continues to do both dryland and in-pool training,  though the pandemic has forced some changes. The diving club has public health measures in place, including increased screening protocols.

With his successes to date, Preston said he is hoping to continue developing his skills, diving right into competitions.

When not training, the Grade 5 student can be found enjoying some free time hanging out with his friends, playing video games and listening to music, says his dad, Jordan Cooledge.

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