News, Sport

Blake Aldridge just loves taking the plunge!

Sports News

Martin Read

There are strange ways to earn a living but few are as dangerous as Blake Aldridge’s profession. A job has been described as a paid position of regular employment – Blake gets paid for what he does and is in regular work but most people would baulk at jumping off high cliffs into water many metres below – its not the sort of job that your mother would like to see you doing. But, Blake tells the District Post: “I absolutely love cliff diving!” he explains: “I was in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (partnering Tom Daley in the synchronised event) but subsequently had a bad motor bike accident injuring an elbow, so I couldn’t continue competitive Olympic diving. I was devastated because I had been diving since I was five years old and had always trained very hard. So, when Red Bull offered me a lifeline, inviting me to participate in their Cliff Diving World Series, covered on Sky Sports Mix and Fox Sports, I jumped at the opportunity! Naturally I was petrified at first but there are boats with safety crew in the water and I love doing things that get the pulses racing. It’s a full on travelling life.”                                                                       Although Blake plays golf, fishes and has been a footballer, he is more at home with exciting activities, revelling in snowboarding and skiing. 35 year old Blake won the European Cliff Diving Championship for three consecutive years from 2009 and is now in the world’s top ten cliff divers, currently leading the World Series, which he dreams about winning. His schedule in this year’s competition started in Ireland’s Inis Mor before heading to the Azores and on to Italy and Texas. This Saturday (16th) Blake will be diving in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and then, next month, his final dive of the Red Bull season will be at Chile’s Lago Ranco. And, among other places, he has also dived – off cliffs and bridges – in Cuba, France, Denmark, Spain and Australia.                                                                                                      Blake is a public and motivational speaker and has worked on the TV show Jo Brand’s Big Splash and on Celebrity Splash, where he was the choreographer and show diver. He has been a fully qualified diving coach for nearly 20 years, having been Junior World Champion in 1999 and World Series Champion in 2008. And, for good measure, Blake is Sports Ambassador for Linden Lodge School, where his grandfather worked and where Blake learned to swim and taught himself to dive. Every year he takes a large group of multi disabled visually impaired children with profound learning difficulties from the school on a much appreciated skiing trip to Italy.                                                           Cliff diving clearly has inherent dangers – Blake has picked up injuries, including detached retinas requiring laser surgery, but there is no chance of him retiring any time soon, Blake confirming: “Cliff diving is a real passion for me – it ticks all the boxes and really gets the fear, excitement and adrenaline pumping. Who knows where my diving will take me next? All I know is that I am determined, focused and planning a few big things!”

Blake is seeking sponsorship from local business’s and can be contacted via facebook: blakealrdidgediver, Instagram: @blakealdridgediver or his website www.blakealdridge.com

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