Mississauga, Ontario – Dive Ontario was able to interview Abbigail Haygarth, a National/Tier 1 B2 diver, from Forest City Diving Club in London, Ontario.
Abbigail, who also goes by Abby, fell in love with the sport of diving at a young age. Abby is grateful for the way diving has impacted her life over the years. Diving provides Abby with a family and a sense of stability, as she navigates her way through the challenges of everyday life – especially in the unprecedented times of COVID-19. Abby strives for success in her future and knows that she is surrounded by the best people to support her on her journey.
Please enjoy our interview with Abby!
At what age did you begin to dive?
I started diving at the age of 8 after watching and wanting to do flips off the boards with older athletes. My parents finally signed me up for lessons and I have loved it ever since.
What does diving mean to you?
To me, diving is a sense of security and family, as well as being physical activity in the form of the sport I love. We are a big family that has arguments like any other, but one that I can always count on. No matter what else is going on in my life, school or otherwise, diving is always constant, and it gives me a sense of stability, especially throughout COVID.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a diver?
My greatest accomplishment in diving was qualifying for Team Ontario and getting the chance to compete in Madrid. It was a wonderful experience, both the diving and exploring the historic city and I formed a closer bond with my fellow athletes from all over Ontario.
What are some lessons you have learned since you began diving?
The main thing that I have learned since I started diving is to never give up, especially when the going gets tough, because that is where you learn and grow into a better person, more ready to take on any challenges life might throw at you.
What is the best part about competing?
The best part about competing is the friends you make and the bonds that will last a lifetime. I have developed friendships with divers all over the province and country. The atmosphere at a competition is always positive and uplifting and it is a great way to showcase what you have learned.
Who is your biggest cheerleader/supporter?
My biggest supporters in diving are my parents. At least one of them has made it to almost every one of my competitions and they have always encouraged me to try my hardest and keep doing what I love doing.
Who is your diving role model?
My diving role model is Camryn Hughes. She graduated from FCDC and is now a student and athlete at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). I’ve looked up to her skill level, determination and work ethic since I started diving. She has become one of my best friends in the sport, and although typically thought of as quieter, she has a lot to say to someone who will listen.
What are your long-term goals for diving?
Long term for diving, I hope to get a scholarship to a good school that can help me grow and achieve my dreams for the future.
And now, a Poolside Personality speed-round!
Do prefer sweet or savory snacks?
I like sweet snacks and savory snacks; both are delicious in their own way.
Favourite movie genre?
My favourite movie genres are action and adventure or fantasy.
My favourite season is winter or spring.
Favourite subject in school?
My favourite subject in school is science.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?
If I were an animal, I would be a type of bird for the freedom the air gives them, but there are too many species to choose from. If I was a mythical creature, I would be a Phoenix because of what they symbolize, which is different to every person.
If you weren’t diving, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t diving, I would probably be a pole vaulter, and participate in literally every club and sport that my school offered.
Diving has given me a family and experience I would never find elsewhere. It has opened so many doors and taught me so many things. I wouldn’t be who I am today without diving. – Abbigail Haygarth
Stay tuned for more Poolside Profiles.