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Anthony • 15 mins
By Bridget Hicks (PSG Staff)
New South Wales diver Sam Fricker is off to a great start at the 2017 Pacific School Games in preparation for the Commonwealth Games trails that are being held next week.
The 15-year-old didn’t hesitate when asked what his long-term sporting goal is.
“Winning the Olympics,” Sam declared.
No stone is being left unturned, with the Trinity Grammar School student training for ‘about 26 hours a week’, across as many as 11 or 12 sessions.
He has already enjoyed a successful year, winning all four events that he entered at the national championships and travelling to Germany to compete against divers from around the world.
It’s been a big twelve months, but it’s far from over and there is plenty of unfinished business for the high school student.
Sam is expecting to come up against seasoned competitor Domonic Bedggood, a Commonwealth gold medalist and Rio Olympian, next week when he strives for Gold Coast 2018 selection.
“This is my first time going (to Commonwealth Games trials). I think my chances of making it are very high for platform synchro,” Sam said from the pool deck at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre.
“It will be a challenge to make it for the individual but anything is possible.”
Sam points out that experience is always a crucial factor in professional sporting environments, and his participation in the Pacific School Games is the perfect way to warm up for the big week.
“Mainly more experience and just learning about your dives, how you perform under pressure, different stuff like that, things you can put into future competitions,” Sam said.
Fricker’s family originally hailed from Newcastle but moved to Sydney to allow Sam to train at the New South Wales Institute of Sport in Homebush.
Younger brother Max is now following in his footsteps and is also competing this week for New South Wales in the 10-12 years age group.
Competing with friends at championships like the one in Adelaide this week is also something that Sam enjoys about diving and he thrives on that environment.
“It’s really awesome, just the vibes, it’s a really good place to be,” he said.
“I was just sitting with one of my friends upstairs before, he’s not actually competing but still comes to be part of it, to hang out with each other.
“You go up there and it’s your nerves, they’re always good, but it’s more just about conquering your fear every day.”
That element of fear, the long hours and the dedication are all worth it though, for the opportunity to achieve his goals.
“When you nail a dive, the sound in your ears is like tearing a piece of paper,” he explained.
“That feeling of going 60 km per hour to nothing, in like a couple of milliseconds, that’s pretty cool.”
Sam won a silver and two gold medals at the 2017 Pacific School Games, and will compete in one more event this week, the 3m on Wednesday, 6th December.