TEEN diver Oliver Crompton is not short of inspirational figures at the City Of Leeds Diving Club.
Jack Laugher – whom Crompton could be training with next year – is the reigning 3m springboard Olympic champion and 2019 overall World Series winner.
Former club-mate Matty Lee is ‘poster boy’ Tom Daley’s new synchro partner while Laugher’s new synchro partner, Dan Goodfellow, is another Olympic medallist.
But next week’s Junior European Championships in Russia could determine whether Crompton bids to follow the likes of Leeds stars Laugher and Lee or actually trace his mentor Joe Meszaros’s footsteps into life as a young coach.
In any event, through his blossoming clothing brand Notpmorc – his name spelt backwards – the 18-year-old hopes his future is looking good be it in diving or fashion.
Crompton is one of three City Of Leeds Diving Club youngsters competing at the Junior Europeans in Kazan next week alongside 14-year-old Callie Eaglestone and 13-year-old Chloe Johnson.
I need some sort of income so I don’t know what the plan is yet. It’s really down to how the Europeans goes.Oliver Crompton
The latter duo have four and five years left, respectively, as junior divers whereas Crompton is approaching what will be his last event before being faced with stepping into the senior ranks alongside the likes of Laugher next year.
Born in Bolton, Crompton began his sporting escapades as a swimmer but soon switched to diving with the youngster and his family relocating to Leeds in an attempt to maximise his chances of excelling in the sport.
Next week’s event marks a second Junior Europeans for Crompton, who performed with great credit in making three finals at last year’s event in Finland after being ill.
Last year also featured an outing at the Junior Worlds where a slip and failed dive as part of a synchro pairing with fellow Leeds diver Anthony Harding ended the chance for glory.
At 18, Crompton remains a diver with the world potentially at his feet but one who is also remaining realistic and just as open to following his mentor Meszaros into becoming a young coach.
Meszaros began coaching when just 16 years old and Crompton told the YEP: “I’m not sure what I am going to do next year yet because this year at the Europeans there’s a chance to get on funding. My main chance last year was in the synchro event where I did the failed dive so I didn’t end up getting the funding.
“If I’m still training next year then, hopefully, I will be able to get a coaching job because I have just applied but I need some sort of income so I don’t know what the plan is yet. It’s really down to how the Europeans goes.
“I have got the go-ahead to train with Jack and Dan next season if I wanted to because at the moment I have been training with Joe as my coach and with some of the younger divers. So, next year, I have the option to train with the bigger guys which is good.”
Hailing the inspiration of 27-year-old Leeds head diving coach Meszaros, Crompton said: “He’s a really good coach and it would be good to know I can get a job doing something that I love rather than doing something else. I’ve just turned 18 and I have just finished sixth form at Brigshaw and I’m not going to uni so I am definitely going to have a year out. I’m not a big fan of school!”
Crompton’s primary and early secondary days were experienced in Manchester before the whole family relocated to Leeds when the diver was in year nine.
Mum Lisa, dad Peter and 13-year-old fellow diving sister Maisy all made the move and for Oliver developments have taken place in both a sporting and an entrepreneurial sphere since.
With his street-wear clothing brand booming, for Crompton, it means a third option, not just being the next Jack Laugher or next Joe Meszaros but who knows, even the next Ralph Lauren. “That’s the dream!” said Crompton with a laugh.
“It was last summer where I first thought of the idea and then it kind of got put into place about four months ago.
“I do seasons so, at the minute, I am in season two – there’s four weeks in each season and in each week a new item of clothing gets released.
“At the minute, we are at season two, week two but I am not going to be able to do week three and four because of the Europeans in Russia.”
Instead, in his last event as a junior, Crompton can perhaps add a medal to his collection with the diver particularly hopeful of his prospects in the 3m synchro event with new partner Aidan Heslop of Plymouth.
Crompton is also competing in the 1m and 3m individual as well as the team event.
Crompton continued: “With the list we have got, we have got a good chance to get a medal in the synchro and then individual is just a matter of how well I am feeling on the day and how everyone else is diving because if everyone else is diving good then you don’t know.
“I’m excited just to go into it and have fun as after this we are done for the summer so you can just go into it 100 per cent. Then it’s just a case of what I do next! I’m just at that age where I have no idea what I am going to do next year.”