FALL RIVER: Cole Howell has come a long ways since trying out diving at the Canada Games Center as a sixth birthday present from his parents.
Now 10-years-old, Howell has many accolades from the sport he loves to his name, and is hoping to add more next month when he joins three other Cygnus Diving teammates as part of a Canadian contingent that will get to train and compete in Cuba. Divers from Vancouver, B.C.; Saskatchewan/Alberta; Ontario; Quebec; and Peru have been invited to train and compete.
“When I was younger my parents let me try out diving,” he said. “The first day I went I had a lot fun and wanted to keep doing it. I stayed in it for awhile, and I’ve tried to progress as much as I can.
“Now I’m in the competitive group with Cygnus at Centennial Pool in Halifax.”
The Ash Lee Jefferson Elementary School student is fundraising to help cover his expenses for the trip, scheduled for April 7-14. He is selling magic bags that his mom creates. They are $15 each or two for $25.
He said he is hoping to make new friends and learn some new dives during the week of training and competition in Cuba. And there’s the chance he could bring home some hardware in the form of medals as well.
“I’m looking forward to training with new coaches and new people, see if they have any pointers about how I can improve,” he said.
Howell said he is excited about the opportunity.
“I really wanted to go on this trip,” he said. “I think it’s awesome that I get this opportunity.”
The trip will bring about a new experience for Howell.
“It will be my first-ever time competing in an outdoor pool,” he said. “It’s going to be harder to spot because the water and sky are both the same colour. And come home with some medals.”
He has just completed his three metre nationals list and is working towards his tower list, which involves a sixth compulsory dive which is handstands.
What’s the most important thing that Howell brings back from Cuba?
“Medals, a few souvenirs, and some new dives,” Howell said. “What I really want most of all is to have fun.”