Dacorum divers have been making a Splash

Dacorum diver Gemma Lakin with Tom Daley
Dacorum diver Gemma Lakin with Tom Daley

Divers who train at Hemel Hempstead’s Sportspace have played an important role in the show that helped bring their sport into the public eye.

Members of Dacorum Diving Club were chosen to act as stand-ins for celebrity contestants during rehearsals for cult programme Splash!, which reached drew millions of viewers for its climax on Saturday night.

The team got to meet their hero Tom Daley along with female divers Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch, as well as the celebrities who competed to win the contest.

Roger Page, 49, of Kings Langley, is head coach of the club. He said: “My name was put forward because we were likely to have the right calibre of divers, and they wanted people who could do relatively complicated dives.

“I think for the club it has been very good. It has helped the divers get something out of their diving. They put the hours in and they are now getting the benefit.”

Gemma Lakin, who has been diving for 13 years, said the experience was a challenge.

The 25-year-old athlete explained: “The celebrities were doing quite hard dives. I am used to diving up to five metres but a lot of theirs were from 7.5 metres or 10 metres which I don’t do that often. It was quite difficult, but I really enjoyed it.

“I am really proud to have been involved because there are now lots of people who want to join diving after the show. It was great to be a part of something that is putting it out there to everyone.”

Coach Jonathan Prazer, who also had a role as a stunt diver in the opening show, said: “As I just coach now, I rarely get in the water, but that opportunity came up and it was a lot of fun.

“It was great to experience being on TV and seeing how it all works, and people have now asked if I am still coaching because their kids want to get involved after watching the show.”

Other divers from the Dacorum club who took part were Ella Mae Rayner, Simon Shaw and Louise Popkin.