British Diver Gavin Brown Passes Away

SOUTHAMPTON, Britain, April 30. BRITISH Swimming announced the passing of diver Gavin Brown, 22, due to a car accident on Saturday.

The following is the complete release from the Federation:
Gavin, who was widely known and loved for his outgoing and fun loving personality as well as his overwhelming passion for the sport, will be sadly missed by his family, friends and everyone involved in Southampton Diving Academy, British Diving and the international diving community as a whole.

Gavin first expressed a desire to learn to dive at the age of five in Bradford. Explaining that he was too young to start immediately, the coaches encouraged him to take up gymnastics which he pursued until he returned to take up diving lessons at the age of seven.

Andy Banks, his first club coach found Gavin to be a fast learner, quickly out-performing most of his contemporaries.

At the age of 13 Gavin began to train in Leeds, a 10m facility, under the guidance of Adrian Hinchliffe. Soon after this Gavin's international career took off. He took fourth place at the Junior European Championships in 1998 and a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 1999.

Aged 14, Gavin finalled in the senior European Cup and in 2001 and was invited to take part in the Goodwill Games in Brisbane where he competed in the 10m Synchro with Blake Aldridge (Southampton Diving Academy).

Entering his senior career, Gavin chose to train in Sheffield with British National Diving Coach Chen Wen while studying at Leeds Metropolitan University. He took a year's break from training before the lure of diving took over and he made the decision to transfer his training and studies to Southampton in 2005 where he joined his lifelong friend Gary Hunt.

Since joining Southampton, Gavin has been coached by both Steve Gladding and Lindsey Fraser, who helped him to regain his position after his break.

Gavin also began studying Criminology at Solent University and took up a place on the Solent Talented Athlete Network Development (STAND). He was looking forward to competing for the first time in the World Cup High Diving contest this summer.

In Southampton his career in training divers also took off. As a coach he proved to be charismatic and well loved by his athletes. Taking responsibility for a group of teenagers he was preparing them for the National Skills Finals in Plymouth this summer.
Southampton Director of Coaching Lindsey Fraser summed up the feelings of all those who knew him in the diving world.

"Gavin is irreplaceable. His cheeky grin and irrepressible personality were without compare and words cannot express how much we are all going to miss him in whatever capacity our paths crossed."

Tributes to Gavin at Southampton Diving Academy have been flooding in and there is a sense of disbelief as friends and colleagues struggle to come to terms with the loss.

Yesterday divers at a national competition in Leeds pool observed a minute's silence.

Police have launched a hunt for a hit and run driver who fled the seen of the incident.

Gavin suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital but later died.

Swimming World Magazine sends its condolences to the family and friends of Brown as they mourn his passing.