By Marcus Beeck
Over the past few years Australia’s talent pool in diving has grown with the likes of Cassiel Rousseau (22-year-old Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist) and Sam Fricker (21-year-old Birmingham 2022 bronze medallist) bursting onto the scene.
And while Rousseau and Fricker have made a quick impact in the world of diving, over in Adelaide there is a growing sense of excitement over the emergence of 17-year-old Springboard and Platform diver Jaxon Bowshire.
Originally from Queensland, Bowshire’s parents made the move to the city of churches a decade ago.
After showing promise in both gymnastics and diving, Bowshire unfortunately suffered a broken arm and had “some pretty bad nerve damage” which halted his ability to do gymnastics. He was then encouraged by coaches Steve Black and Kevin Hall to put more of his time into diving as a lot of the strength required comes from the legs.
The 17-year-old’s decision to focus on diving is already paying dividends as Bowshire is now a part of the Diving Australia National Squad. And in the recent Australian Elite Youth Diving Championships Bowshire showed his class as he won the Boys A 1m Final, A 3m Final, A Platform Final and the Boys A/B Platform Synchro with Victorian diver Jonah Mercieca.
This incredible effort led him to being awarded the Commonwealth Games Emerging Athlete of the Month for June, an achievement which Bowshire says he is honoured to receive.
“As a young athlete it is great to be recognised for the effort we put into our sport,” Bowshire said.
“With so many other athletes pushing at the same level over a huge amount of sports with the same dedication it really does make me super proud and honoured to be recognised along with some of the country’s best athletes.”
At just 17 years of age Bowshire has already achieved so much, so early into his journey as a diver.
Last December he represented Australia at the World Junior Diving Championships, while two months prior he won a bronze medal in the team event at the World Cup in Berlin. But Bowshire believes that there is one moment from his career to date that particularly stands out.
“I have to say taking a gold medal on Platform in the last event of the Dresden International Youth Diving Championship in Germany, has been the most proud I have ever been,” Bowshire said.
“I managed to achieve the highest score from a single dive with the highest degree of difficulty in the competition.
“The crowd was the loudest I had ever encountered and having my ‘Aussie’ teammates singing the Australian national anthem at the medal ceremony was absolutely amazing.”
After he finishes high school at Saint Michael’s College this year, Bowshire is ready for his next big challenge after late last year he announced his verbal agreement to join the University of Michigan’s diving team for 2024.
“The US College system gives access to some of the world’s best coaches – unfortunately not quite as good as Andy Banks (Bowshire’s Head/National coach) – sensational education and a huge volume of competitions with many more competitors which I believe will help me in the big competitions,” Bowshire said.
“Unfortunately, Michigan has lost an amazing coach in Mike Hilde and we are waiting to see who will be named as the new coach but with Michigan being as high profile as they are I am certain the new coach will be sensational.
“The University of Michigan previously had and currently has Australian divers on their team and a key part of my decision-making process was to ensure they are able to work with Diving Australia to maximise my opportunities to represent Australia.”
Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) has a focus on supporting emerging talent and celebrating the next generation of Australian sport stars.
Over the course of 2023, an athlete will be recognised each month as the Commonwealth Games Australia emerging athlete of the month and will receive a $500 gift certificate as a contribution towards their training expenses.
Three finalists from the monthly winners will be invited to the 2024 Commonwealth Games Australia Presidents Function where one will be named the Commonwealth Games Australia Emerging Athlete of the Year.
The annual winner, selected by the Awards Sub Committee will receive a $5000 CGA scholarship toward their sporting career.