Top diving event is set to be a sell-out
PLYMOUTH Diving coach Andy Banks is counting down the days to the Life Centre's biggest event since its opening last year.
In three weeks' time the multi-million pound city sports complex will play host to the 2013 British Gas Diving Championships.
All the country's best divers will be in action, including Plymouth's own international stars Tom Daley, Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow.
With seating limited at the Life Centre and Daley so popular, Banks, aquatics director at the venue, expects tickets to disappear like hot cakes when they go on sale via the internet at 10am on Friday.
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However, to try to make up for people who cannot get into the city venue, the championships are going to be broadcast live via the internet.
"We have only got a few hundred seats, so we are going to rely a bit on the live feed via the internet," said Banks, who has been starring as a judge in ITV's Saturday night diving programme Splash.
"This is the biggest event for the Life Centre so far.
"I am sure it will go well as we have a good team here.
"Tickets go on sale on Friday and it is unlikely any will be left to go on sale on the door."
Twelve Plymouth Diving athletes will take part in the championships.
"It will be the most we have ever had at a senior national championships," said Banks. "They will be at varying levels but it is pleasing to have so many involved."
Up-and-coming Plymouth Diving stars Shanice Lobb and Frankie Del Celo will be back from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in time for the nationals.
The Life Centre held the British Junior Championships last year, but Banks hopes February's Senior Championships will be the first of many coming to Plymouth.
"I think we will probably try and get one of the national events in Plymouth each year," said Banks. "There are a number of facilities now around the country, but I can't see any reason why we can't do it, although they do like to share them around."
The British Gas Diving Championships will be closely followed at the Life Centre by the annual Armada Cup, which takes place February 21-24.
The Armada Cup, which has been going for 16 years and attracts young divers from around the country, will be making its debut in the Life Centre having been held in the Central Park Pool last February.