European champion Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix rounded off her ‘breakthrough’ year with another title after collecting British Swimming’s ‘Emerging Diver Award’ at a ceremony in Manchester.
In addition to her 10m individual and synchronised successes at Roma 2022 the 17-year-old also claimed team bronze in Italy, three honours (two gold) at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and a World Team Event bronze.
She has also won the National Lottery Awards ‘athlete of the year’ last month and finished second in the European Olympic Committee (EOC) Piotr Nurowski Prize for the Best European Young Athlete over the last 12 months.
“This year has been amazing and honestly incredible,” said Spendolini-Sirieix, who at Birmingham 2022 became the first English diver to win the women’s 10m platform event since 1966.
“The Commonwealth Games were a highlight, because it was my first home crowd and first big crowd and the final dive was incredible, but the whole year has been incredible.
“To be able to do it (make history) on home soil was incredible and to have my parents there – because they couldn’t be in Tokyo (due to Covid-19 restrictions) was a beautiful moment.”
Watch Spendolini-Sirieix claim European gold with her final dive.
Away from her successes in the pool the teenager is also striving for academic excellence and in addition to her A-Level studies in English, Spanish and history, she is also taking on an extra project in preparation for university.
“I took up an EPQ (extended project qualification) which is about ‘do aesthetic sports negatively damage sportswomen’s relationship with food and body image,’ she said after making the final shortlist for the BT Sport Action Woman Awards.
“I conducted my own research and it was super interesting and super insightful because I compete in an aesthetic sport and I wanted to know more about what was going on.
“I think this year especially has shown that women are strong and nothing can stop you doing what you want to do.
“Your age doesn’t stop you, your gender doesn’t stop you, your sexuality doesn’t stop you and what’s so great about all the women in this room and athletes is we don’t let what society says limit us.
“It doesn’t limit us and won’t limit us in the future.”
The British Swimming National Diving Cup in early 2023 is likely to be next competitive event before a busy summer, which will include the EOC’s European Games in Poland and Fina’s World Aquatics Championships in Japan.