Spin to Win: Declan Stacey

Twelve months ago Declan Stacey was training at the MAG National Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Fast forward to today and he is a bronze medallist at his first international diving competition. In less than 12 months Declan has braved diving off the 10 metre platform, learnt a full competitive diving list, including dives such as a back 2½ somersault pike with 2½ twists! The bronze medal was achieved at the recent Australian Grand Prix held at the Gold Coast, where he competed against divers from China, Canada and the USA.

Watch the post-competition interview with Declan:

Inspired by fellow former gymnast Domonic Bedggood’s rapid rise to international diving success, Declan decided to retire from gymnastics and try springboard and platform diving. Domonic and Declan have been good mates since 2005 and even travelled together to Germany in 2008 for a gymnastics competition. In November 2015 Declan began training with Joel Rodriguez and Chava Sobrino with the NSWIS diving squad. Declan only started diving off the 10 metre platform in June, which makes his result at the Gold Coast even more remarkable.

Declan begun gymnastics as a young boy at Five Dock Leisure Centre, soon after he was recruited to the Gymnastics NSW MAG High Performance Centre. Declan then moved to Melbourne to train at the Victorian MAG High Performance Centre, before being selected as one of the initial ten MAG athletes to gain a scholarship to train at the MAG National Centre of Excellence at the AIS in early 2015. 

Declan credits his smooth transition into diving from having a strong gymnastics background. His amazing aerial awareness has sped up his ability to learn new and difficult dives in record time. Initially he found the 10m platform daunting, but his desire to represent Australia in diving helped him push through the fear. Admittedly changing sports at the age of 22 was a crazy decision, but one that has already paid off.

Declan is training hard in hopes to be selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Short term goals include competing well at the Diving National Championships in December and being selected on the Australian team for the FINA World Championship in 2017 in Hungary. Declan hopes to pair up with Domonic in the future for the men’s 10m synchronised event.

Gymnastics Australia wishes Declan the best of luck with his diving career.


About Spin to Win

Gymnastics Australia (GA) is supported by the Federal Government's Australian Institute of Sport Competitive Innovation Fund. ‘Spin to Win’ is a collaborative project led by GA in partnership with Diving Australia (DA), Ski & Snowboard Australia (SSA) and the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) that aims to build a successful and sustainable national system of talent identification, development and transfer to maximise podium performances at World Championships and Olympic Games in each sport in the future.

For more information regarding talent identification or talent transfer please contact GA's National Pathways Coordinator – Spin to Win, Bree Bryant at bbryant@gymnastics.org.au.