Sunday 18 February 2018

Dingley eyes second job as he can't splash cash


Olympic diver Oliver Dingley. Photo: Sportsfile
Olympic diver Oliver Dingley. Photo: Sportsfile

Barry Lennon

Olympic diver Oliver Dingley admits he can't afford to splash the cash, with his money worries forcing him to consider taking up a new job alongside his diving.

The 24-year-old received a boost last week when qualifying for a €20,000 grant from Sport Ireland as a 'world class' category athlete, following last August's Rio Games.

While welcoming the financial support from Sport Ireland, Dingley insists he has to be "realistic" - knowing that poor performances can lead to a drop in funding.

"It's brilliant but it's also the intention. Sport Ireland have the intention of backing diving now," he said. "My card is reviewed on a yearly basis, so I might not get any money next year for all I know. It (the grant) covers the basics. Saving up for a car, for example, is a bit of a nightmare. I have to watch my pennies basically."


Dingley often cycles from his house at Dublin's National Sports Campus but believes a car is necessary to go on the job hunt as well as avoid his "nasty habit of falling off" his bike.

"(More coaching) is always a (job) possibility. The problem is with that is when those kids are diving, that's my diving time as well. I have other fields too, I'm quite interested in graphic design."

Spurred on by his eighth-place finish in the 3-metre springboard final at the Olympics, Dingley set his sights on improving his dive. A more sophisticated routine also increases the risk of failure.

"I'm a bit scared to add those harder dives in, after all there's a big chance they won't go well. And if they don't go well that's my funding gone. From a financial (side) it's definitely a big risk," he added.

The Yorkshire-born man, who claimed Commonwealth Games bronze for England in 2014, decided to represent Ireland after controversially being overlooked for the London 2012 Games.

"I'll never, ever go back. I get on with everyone. They all cheer for me. They're all friends, I cheer for them. But I consider myself an Irish athlete," he said.

"Who knows (if Team GB regret their decision)? I've never asked them. It's just as nice to beat British divers as it is any other nation."

Dingley found that Rio changed Irish impressions of diving and he believes this can lead to better things in the future.

"Apparently everyone became experts after five minutes," he added. "I like that expectation it's built as I see myself as one of the best divers in the world."

  • Oliver Dingley spoke as Mycosan Fungal Nail released its survey, finding socks with sandals as the greatest fashion faux pas (

Irish Independent

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