Canadian mother-daughter diving duo, Makayla Piper and Camila Colan. Photo: Georgia Schampers
by Georgia Schampers
The Gold Coast’s warm weather and open-air diving venue have attracted three women from over 13,000 kilometres away for this year’s Pan Pacific Masters Games.
Visiting all the way from Saskatoon in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan where temperatures are currently well below zero degrees are mother-daughter duo Makayla Piper, 19, and Camila Colan, 42, and Pan Pacs regular Joan Markentin, 47.
Makayla and Camila took part in the synchronised diving event together placing fifth despite Makayla not having dived in years.
“I stepped onto the board for the first time in five years, five days ago,” Makayla said.
“I have been so busy studying and teaching young kids to dive that I never get the chance anymore myself but luckily a lot of the dives are just muscle memory. I’ve only had to learn a few new ones.”
Her mother Camila, who won an individual silver in the 3m springboard at these games, has also had a break from diving following major shoulder surgery.
“I’ve actually been wanting to compete in the Pan Pacs for years but I seriously injured my shoulder so these games have been a long time coming,” Camila said.
“Wanting to compete in Australia was my motivation to get back into it.
“It has been so much fun and I have loved the Gold Coast.”
Camila is proud to be able to share the love of the sport with her daughter Makayla after starting her in the sport when she was seven years of age
“I have such passion for it – I enjoy diving so much. It feels like I’m flying and, like mother like daughter, Makayla loves it too,” Camila said.
Makayla, who won an individual gold in the 5m platform, was also the youngest female competitor at the Pan Pacs.
“It’s interesting being the youngest. I really look up to the older competitors and admire them – some of the older ladies are so talented,” she said.
Canadian diver Joan Marketin. Photo: Georgia Schampers
Makayla wasn’t the only competitor in admiration of other divers with compatriot Joan Markentin taking up diving after being inspired by her children.
After watching her kids dive since 2007, Joan saw an email advertising Pan Pacs in 2014 and decided to jump in the pool and give it a go.
This is now Joan’s third Pan Pacs and she said wouldn’t like to spend every second November anywhere else as her love of diving grows.
Today Joan won a bronze medal in the 3m springboard.
“This is so much fun – the Gold Coast is awesome,” Joan said.
“I’ve even tried surfing and the people are phenomenal.
“Everyone is here to have fun – it’s all about camaraderie and having a party with a focus on sport.
“I love the adrenaline and the challenge of diving – it’s so fast and scary but exhilarating.
“I love the water – I’m a Pisces so I was born to be in the water.”