A diver has been nominated for one of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards after a year of success.
Clara Kerr, 15, has been put forward for Young Sports Achiever of the Year in the Granite City’s annual celebration of excellence.
The teen, who trains at Aberdeen Sports Village Aquatics Centre, has represented both Scotland and Great Britain at junior level.
After top three finishes in girls’ group B open platform, 3m and 1m at the 2018 Scottish National and Open Championships, Clara has this year moved up a level into group A.
Despite only being 15, and now mixing it with the best 16-18-year-old competitors in the country, Clara’s work to increase the difficulty and execution of her dives paid off, with a 3m silver medal at the GB Junior Elite Championships.
Of her Sports Awards nomination, Clara said: “It makes me feel proud – it’s a big thing.
“I’m really thrilled. And it makes me happy because it shows all my hard work is paying off. “
Clara’s success over the last 12 months has also come in the face of adversity, as she has battled elbow and ankle injuries. The issues affected her preparations for both her British National Cup debut in February and the GB junior elites.
However, Clara continued to train for close to 20 hours a week, and as well as GB silver, she also recorded a fifth place in the 1m and seventh in the platform.
She admits the age difference – some of the group A competitors are three years older than her – can be “frustrating”, but she has shown an ability to use those feelings positively.
In her nomination, Clara’s dedication to promoting her sport – by helping at ASV’s Corporate Games and, as the city’s leading competitor, supporting other aspiring young divers of all levels – was labelled “inspirational”
Clara said: “I love the sport and appreciate the opportunity the diving club are giving me.
“I just try to work hard in all sessions and have fun.
“Hopefully I am leading by example and the younger divers want to work hard so they can do the dives I can.
“I think when other divers see me going away to competitions in England or abroad they would like to be the one going, which encourages them to work extra hard so hopefully they can get there in the future.
“I love being able to encourage the younger divers and to watch them improve.”
She added: “I love diving and think it is something everyone should have the chance to try.
“I would love to help inspire others and make the sport more popular. Hopefully when people walk past the diving pool they see the diving and then try it out.
“Aberdeen has many open sessions that anyone can attend.”
Among Milltimber-based Clara’s aims for the future is to be selected for a big multi-sport event like the Commonwealth Games.
She said: “While I continue to love the sport, I just want to do my very best and use all the opportunities given to me.
“I think it is every young athlete’s dream to go to the Olympics, but there are a lot of very good divers, so a hope would be to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
“I had a taste of representing GB last year when I went to Dresden as part of the GB junior team and would love to do it again.”
The Sports Awards will be held at P&J Live on Thursday October 3.
To nominate an individual or club, visit aberdeenssportsawards.co.uk
Nominations close on August 4.
Full list of categories and criteria below: