Reporter 405, 30 June 1997

In at the deep end with a doctorate

A scholarship has brought Egyptian international diver Mohammed Warda to Leeds to research for a PhD into the qualities which produce world-class divers. Warda hopes to produce a range of tests enabling coaches to select potential talent in children as young as nine.

"Divers have good coordination, flexibility, strength and posture," says Warda. "The key to successful diving is the courage and confidence to believe one can achieve any dive."

These qualities can be measured, he believes, by a range of psychological and spatial awareness tests and by measuring psychological and physiological attributes - links between the body and the mind.

"Divers must hold the ability to handle any dive and hold the knowledge to understand the requirement of each dive," he added. "I hope to be able to establish these awareness attributes."

Warda coaches the Alexandria diving team and another three members of his family are international swimmers. He hopes to use his research to raise diving standards upon his return to Egypt.

He is the second member of his family to study at the University; his cousin Hassan Warda has recently completed a PhD in Engineering.

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