Plymouth’s Tom Daley has confirmed that he will relocate his training base from Plymouth Life Centre to the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this year.
Daley will work alongside British Swimming’s newly appointed diving head coach Jane Figueiredo as he focuses his 2016 Olympic training around the brand new centre’s world-class diving facilities.
The London Aquatics Centre holds good memories for Daley. It where thousands of home supporters witnessed his Olympic bronze medal, and he was also the first person to dive from the boards at the official opening of the Centre, ahead of the Olympics.
The move will see Daley leave his first coach and diving club in Andy Banks and Plymouth, but the country’s top diver and Banks will remain close and the former world champion believes the time is right for a new challenge.
“Plymouth will obviously always be my home but after thinking long and hard about my future in diving, I have decided that a change will be beneficial to my development,” Daley said in a statement released by British Swimming.
“I have my sights firmly set on Rio 2016, and I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my diving career in London. I have some great memories at that pool.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Andy for all his help over the years. He has been pivotal to my achievements and I wouldn’t be the diver I am today without his continued dedication and support. I know we will keep in close contact and I know he will always be there for me.
“I also want to thank everyone at the Life Centre and the Council for their support over the years. I will obviously miss everyone at Plymouth Diving but will look forward to the trips home.”
Banks, Plymouth Diving’s head coach, commented: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to coach Tom since he was just eight years old.
“I fully understand and support Tom’s move to train in London. The facilities there are excellent, and I have known Jane for years and know she will do a great job.
“I wish him the very best of luck for the future in all his endeavours and he knows he is always welcome at the Plymouth centre whenever he is back on home turf.”
National diving performance director Alexei Evangulov added: “In a new Olympic cycle it is common that there are many changes in an athlete’s training and I support Tom’s decision to move to London in what will be one of our new High Performance Centres.
“The time was right for Tom to make a change in his programme in order to take the next steps in his diving. I look forward to seeing the centre up and running and believe that Tom will enjoy being in such a beautiful pool.”
Figueiredo said: “The opportunity to coach somebody as world class and elite as Tom Daley is something that I am really looking forward to. I feel I have a lot to add to the great work that has already been done to get Tom to where he is.
“I am really excited to coach someone of Tom’s stature on men’s Platform and take up the challenge that goes with that. We have a good period of time and a great shot to work towards Rio and I can’t wait for that journey to begin.”