Former acrobatic gymnast Cassiel Rousseau has made an immediate impact after making the switch to diving. After being inspired by his sisters, Rousseau first started diving in 2017, and in 2018 won the junior nationals 3m springboard and claimed silver in the 1m springboard. Selected to compete at the FINA Junior World Championships, Rousseau unfortunately had to withdraw due to a back injury but has already set his sights on more international competition next year.
Cassiel’s grandfather was French cyclist Michel Rousseau, who won the 1956 Olympic track cycling sprint gold medal in Melbourne. Rousseau will be mentored by dominant world Ironwoman champion Karla Gilbert.
“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.”
Mentor Quote: Karla Gilbert OAM (Surf Life Saving)
“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.”
NSO Quote: Diving Australia, Chief Executive Officer David Bell
“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”.
What integrity means to me:
“Being honest, even doing the right thing when no one is watching, being a role model to younger generation and the eyes that are looking up to you.”
Disciplines: 1metre Springboard, 3metre Springboard, 10metre Platform
First started competing: 2017 (11months as at August 2018)
State Institution: QAS
Sporting Background: Was an elite Acrobat before changing to diving
All-Time Sporting Hero: Michel Rousseau (1936-2016)
Favourite Quote: “We are what we want to see, believe, feel…limited by the horizon we set ourselves” – Michel Rousseau
Language other than English: French
Honours, Awards & Results
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