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Chantelle’s protégée is in tune for the London Olympics: AOC Feature

26 October 2011

If 15-year-old diving sensation Brittany Broben makes the Australian Team for next year’s London Olympic Games she will be the first to thank 2004 Olympic gold medallist Chantelle Newbery. 

When Newbery retired from competition in 2008 she set up a national talent identification program throughout for Diving Australia. Broben was one of the first athletes she “spotted”.

Broben’s mother Janice has heaped praise on Newbery for the support she has provided her daughter.

“Chantelle is a very good mentor, she is in tune with Brittany, we are very lucky to have Chantelle,” she said.

Young Broben has great admiration for Newbery as well. In her profile she credits Newbery as being her favourite diver “because she introduced me to the sport and she believes in me”.

Newbery’s first protégé has already won a gold medal at this year’s FINA Grand Prix in the USA in May, beating the best in the world.

That propelled Broben into the limelight and exposed her to enormous pressure heading into the World Championships in Shanghai two months later. She was disappointed with her performance and admits to “just having a bad day”.

Again it was Newbery who helped Broben recover and focus on London 2012.

“Chantelle definitely helped me and so did Matthew Mitcham,” she said.

Like Newbery, Broben comes from a gymnastics background. And Broben is focusing solely on Newbery’s gold medal event: 10m platform.

To get to the Olympics Broben needs to do well at the Australian titles in the new pool in Adelaide in December and qualify for the World Cup to be held at the Olympic venue in London next February.

Janice Broben is typical of so many parents with talented children. She drives from the Gold Coast to Brisbane six days a week, some days at 4:30 in the morning, to get Brittany to training.

For her it is a labour of love as Brittany chases her Olympic dream.

But when it comes to music they are not in tune. On the long drives between Brisbane and the Gold Coast it appears Justin Bieber is not Janice’s cup of tea.

Mike Tancred
AOC

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Chantelle Newbery
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Brittany Broben
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