Diving coach who worked with Tom Daley and was part of Team GB at Tokyo Olympics dies aged 31 

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  • David Jenkins’ death confirmed by British Swimming Monday, cause unknown
  • Swim England Said Was ‘Extremely Popular’ Coach With ‘Amazing Personality’
  • David taught thousands of kids how to dive at Tom Daly Diving Academy

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Tributes have poured in for Olympic diving coach David Jenkins, who died at just 31 over the weekend.

The highly regarded coach, who worked with diving star Tom Daly, was part of Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 training squad – which helped it secure a joint-record medal tally at this year’s Olympic Games.

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David’s death was confirmed by British Swimming on Monday, although the cause is unknown.

The body said: ‘It is with the utmost sadness that British Swimming can confirm the death of diving coach David Jenkins.

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‘All our thoughts and condolences go out to David’s wife, family, friends and the dive community.’

Following this news Swim England paid tribute to the ‘popular’ coach.

It said in a statement: ‘David was extremely popular with everyone in the diving community due to his wonderful, friendly personality.

Highly respected coach David Jenkins (pictured), 31, who worked with diving star Tom Daly, was part of Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 training squad—which helped it secure a joint-record medal tally at this year’s Olympic Games .

David was the Development Lead Coach for Dive London, overseeing the progress of the next generation of elite athletes at the London Aquatics Center (LAC) (pictured with Tom Daly in February 2019)

David was the Development Lead Coach for Dive London, overseeing the progress of the next generation of elite athletes at the London Aquatics Center (LAC) (pictured with Tom Daly in February 2019)

‘A former gymnast and diver himself, David had a bright future ahead and will be greatly missed by everyone who worked with him in Swim England, British Diving and the GLL.’

It added: ‘British Swimming has said that the privacy of their family, friends and the British diving community should be respected during this difficult time and they will work closely with the staff and athletes affected by this terrible news.’

David was the Development Lead Coach for Dive London, overseeing the progress of the next generation of elite athletes at the London Aquatics Center (LAC).

LAC said he was ‘inspired and loved the sport’, adding: ‘David was an incomparable member of the team.’

He worked there for eight years and was instrumental in the development of the talent, with two of his young divers – Noah Williams and Scarlett Meow-Jensen – becoming part of the Team GB team at Tokyo 2020 – which was held this summer after had gone. Delayed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Williams, 22, finished 27th in the 10m platform event, while 19-year-old Ms Mew-Jensen finished 22nd in the 3m springboard.

He helped lead Team GB to success at the World and European Championships, and Team England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where Mr Williams won the silver medal in the men’s 10m synchro.

David played a key role at the Tom Daly Diving Academy, where he gave lessons to thousands of children across the country as part of the Learn to Dive campaign (Picture: Tom Daly and Matty Lee in the men's synchronized 10m platform final at Tokyo 2020 compete.)

David played a key role at the Tom Daly Diving Academy, where he gave lessons to thousands of children across the country as part of the Learn to Dive campaign (Picture: Tom Daly and Matty Lee in the men’s synchronized 10m platform final at Tokyo 2020 compete.)

As a result, David was nominated for Diving Coach of the Year at the 2018 British Swimming Awards.

His junior athletes also saw successes at the international level.

Outside of elite competition, David played a key role at the Tom Daly Diving Academy, where he gave lessons to thousands of children across the country as part of the Learn to Dive campaign.

Jane Nickerson, chief executive officer of Swim England, said: ‘Everyone at Swim England is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of David.

‘He was a highly respected coach who was instrumental in the development of the many divers who have participated in the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Olympics.

‘He will be greatly missed by the pool and on behalf of everyone at Swim England our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his family and friends.’

UK Sport CEO Sally Munday said: ‘Our thoughts are with David’s wife, family, friends and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time.’

Social media has been flooded with tributes to David.

The Twitter account of Team England for the Commonwealth Games said: ‘Team England would like to express their deepest sympathies to those who knew David Jenkins following the news of his passing.

‘A brilliant coach with an amazing personality, David’s impact on thousands of divers from beginners to elite will never be forgotten.’

A Twitter user added: ‘Deepest and heartfelt condolences to the lovely family of Dave and the “Diving Family”. A huge loss for such a young man.’

Another said: ‘Such a lovely and kind man who was so devoted.

‘My thoughts are with his wife, family, friends and colleagues at Dive London and GLL. RIP David.’

One said: ‘A wonderful man who will be greatly missed.’

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