Tom Daley and Andy Banks part company as diver moves to London

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tom Daley is returning to the London Aquatics Centre, where he won his Olympic bronze medal Tom Daley is returning to the London Aquatics Centre, where he won his Olympic bronze medal

Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley is parting company with his only coach, former Bradford diving supremo Andy Banks.

Daley is relocating his training base from Plymouth Diving to the London Aquatics Centre and will work alongside the newly-appointed Jane Figueiredo as he focuses his 2016 Olympic training around the centre’s world-class facilities.

However, former world champion Daley and Banks will remain close, with Daley saying: “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.

“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.”

Banks, head coach of Plymouth Diving who set up the United Kingdom’s first full-time local-authority diving programme in Bradford in the late 1980s, said: “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.”

Figueiredo added: “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.”

The London Aquatics Centre holds good memories for Daley. Not only was it where he claimed his Olympic bronze, but he was also the first person to dive from the boards at the official opening of the centre ahead of the Olympics.

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