Videos: Beverley Boys, Diving
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I think I decided once I started diving that I was pretty good at it and I had no fear and I actually very early on got to go to Quebec and I started competing and competing very well. I realized that this was something I had a competitive side to me that I didn’t really realize I had.
We didn’t have the support. Canada wasn’t behind the sport or any sport at that time. They were, you know I mean I think we had an office. We broke away from swimming in I don’t really know the year now, I don’t remember, so but we had $1,000 budget I believe to run the whole Diving Association.
Now we didn’t have a pool in Ontario, in Pickering, forget Pickering, we didn’t have a pool in Toronto. So we used to train in a canal off of Lake Ontario in May, and this canal had water snakes and dead fish and boats in May. Lake Ontario, cold. I had no money but my family, everyone worked very, very hard towards my career and I have a funny take on this. In around 1972 we started getting, well I got $1,000 a year as the number two athlete in a year as an A-Card Athlete. That’s what we got. By the time 1970 came I moved to Winnipeg to train. When they started giving us a bunch of stuff – money, bathing suits – as far as I’m concerned, I got worse because you depended on it. You weren’t hungry.
To make it in sport it can’t – I mean you need the money so you can actually train, I understand that, but really what people need in sport are facilities. Access to those facilities and your coaches to be paid.
You know I feel very proud to have been a leader in the sport. There’s actually four of us. There’s Nancy Robertson, now Nancy Brawley, Cathy Seaman, myself and Liz Carruthers, there was four of us that travelled the world. We were the first to go to Russia, East Germany and to train and compete in all those countries. I feel good about it because I’m hoping that it’s, it’s always easier to follow than it is to lead. The downside with being good early and being the best is that the expectation is huge. I also say it’s easier to get there than it is to stay there.
I never really caved into the expectation. You know I managed to go through it but it is harder at the top than it is to get to the top. But I’m very proud that I was part of that and I’m still part of that.
Being named the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year in 1969 and 1970 which were my best years of diving was, is, was and is amazing. It’s a judgement that’s made over your whole year, not just one event which you know sometimes you don’t have a great event every time. So it’s, it was one of the most incredible honours that I ever had. I mean it speaks to your career rather than an event.