Cassiel Rousseau is a diver and Olympian who was awarded a Scholarship within the 2019 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program, and has been paired with Karla Gilbert OAM as his Mentor.
Cassiel was born in Brisbane in 2019 and began his sporting life as an acrobatic gymnast. His aerial skill and athletic talent transferred perfectly to diving and he took up the sport in 2017 after finding inspiration from his sisters (his six siblings).
Just one year later, Cassiel won the junior nationals in the 3m Springboard and claimed sliver in the 1m Springboard. He then backed up in the open championship against the country’s best, and took home a bronze medal in the 3m Springboard.
Such obvious talent saw him selected in the Australian team for the Junior World Championships team in 2018, but he had to withdraw due to a back injury just prior to the event.
French-speaking Cassiel worked hard on his recovery from injury and recorded consistent results throughout 2019, before sustaining another injury. This time he fell off his skateboard and broke his wrist, but recovered in time to regain his fitness and prove his ability to national selectors. He was rewarded with a place in the national team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in the 10m Platform event.
The Rousseau family boasts a fine sporting heritage and previous Olympic experience. Cassiel’s grandfather, Michel Rousseau, won sprint cycling gold on the track at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Cassiel, meanwhile, juggles his training with studying for a Bachelor of Psychological Science at Griffith University.
“I feel extremely privileged to have been offered a SAHOF Scholarship. As an athlete, one gets advice from coaches, teachers, parent/s and fellow athletes. This scholarship offers me an invaluable tool which few athletes are lucky enough to get, a sporting great, a mentor, in my case Karla Gilbert. Karla has achieved so much, both in and out of her sporting career, so to have a mentor who can give me advice on life lessons will be priceless. I am delighted to have access to an Aussie great and look forward to learning from Karla and be able to pass on what I learn from her to younger athletes.” – Cassiel on his Scholarship selection.
Mentor Karla Gilbert said: “Cassiel is already stamping his authority in the sport of diving and I’m honoured to be stepping in and supporting his goals through mentoring. Diving is a sport that requires crazy amounts of focus and mental strength and this is the area where I hope to assist Cassiel in developing further. Cassiel has achieved so much at such a young age and his future in the sport is certainly looking very bright.”
Diving Australia, Chief Executive Officer David Bell on Cassiel’s selection: “Cassiel is a fine young man and has carried on the tradition of Gymnastics being a fantastic feeder for Diving – having only been diving for a year, Cassiel’s transition has been amazing and the support of this wonderful scholarship, especially with the ability for him to now be mentored by an icon such as Karla Gilbert will significantly increase his chances of continuing his meteoric rise in our sport. On behalf of Diving Australia, thank you SAHOF and especially Karla for helping Cassiel – we are truly grateful, and I know Cass is as well”.
Honours & Achievements
- 2018: Australian Open Championships, 3 metre Springboard – 3rd
- 2018: Junior World Championships, Australian Team
- 2018: Australian Junior Elite Championships, 3 metre Springboard – 1st
- 2018: Australian Junior Elite Championships, 1 metre Springboard – 2nd
- 2019: FINA World Championships, 10m Platform – 9th
- 2020 (2021): Tokyo Olympic Games, 10m Platform – 8th (Debut)