Team GB Olympic Diver and Support Volunteer

Hannah Starling, Samaritans support volunteer and Olympic Team GB diver, training at the pool

Hannah, 17, is a support volunteer for Leeds branch and a diver for Team GB in the upcoming Olympic Games. Here she talks about her role with Samaritans and how she feels about being a part of the Olympic team.

Making it into Team GB... an unbelieavable day

"It was on the day before my 17th birthday that I got the news that I’d made it into the Team GB diving squad during the Olympics: an unbelievable day and one that I’ll always remember.
"I first became interested in diving 8 years ago, when a coach came into our school looking for pupils with some talent. I got picked to train with him and have never stopped since. I absolutely love it. Earlier this year I competed in the Diving World Cup at the brand new pool at the Olympic Park in Stratford.
"In between now and the Olympics, I’ll be training intensively in Majorca, then it’s back home to Leeds for two weeks for more training – then finally heading down to London to train some more!

Not just a diver... also studying and volunteering for Samaritans

"I’m not just a diver though, I’m also studying for my AS Levels. Trying to balance school life with other commitments is tough and I have to be well organised. I’ve spent a lot of time away from school during the last year, but luckily my teachers are very understanding. I either take my school work away with me or download it from the internet.
"During my free time I like to help as a support volunteer for Leeds Samaritans helping with bucket collections, which I enjoy immensely. The last collection event was at Leeds United football ground with my sister; we had a lot of fun and raised a fair bit too. The gratitude that the public show towards us when we’re out with our collection buckets is really good.
"I first heard about Samaritans through my mum, who’s been a volunteer at Leeds branch for the past ten years – she told me how amazing Samaritans is and how the service can help people. I really admire all the volunteers that work for Samaritans.
"At the moment I’m focusing on the upcoming Olympics in London and will have my home crowd cheering for me. To be selected for Team GB to represent Great Britain is completely indescribable; a real dream come true."