Dynamic diver as good as gold

JADE Sweeney was practising a few muck-about dives while her brother Jack was training with the gymnastics squad at Sydney Olympic Park in November.

A NSWIS diving coach was watching, liked her style and suggested Jade might like to get fair dinkum.

She's become so fair dinkum that . . . well, let mother Tracey tell how Jade has made the rest a little bit of history.

"She was targeted for testing and asked to join the squad," said mother of daughter.

"She fell in love with it and has gone from strength to strength."

How strong?

Jade won gold in the 11-years girls' springboard, gold in 10 to 12-years synchronised diving with NSW team- mate Kennedy Cooper, and silver in the 10-12 years girls' platform at the School Sports Australia national swimming and diving championships in Adelaide last week.

She trains six times a week with NSWIS assistant coach and former Olympic diver Vyninka Arlow at Sydney Olympic Park.

"Jade switched from gymnastics to diving this year after being selected in the NSWIS emerging talent diving squad.

"She was a good gymnast and followed him through," Tracey Sweeney said of Jade's brother Jack.

Her 13-year-old brother is an elite gymnast but broke his hand a couple of weeks before the national titles.

"They both started as toddlers," she said of their entry into gymnastics via the traditional route of precocious flips in the backyard.

"They're just a couple of sporting kids."

Mum said there was no family diving/gymnastics pedigree to draw on, and now that the siblings are making history there's no rest for the rest of the family.

In addition to Jade's six sessions at Sydney Olympic Park, Jack puts in 30 hours a week at the new Rooty Hill swimming-gymnastics complex.

This means tag-team unpaid taxi driving for her, father James and grandmother Elizabeth.

It's a familiar parental refrain. Mum said they do it because the children love what they're doing.

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