SHE is proof of the effort it takes for a country girl to reach the heights of her beloved sport, but this paid off in grand fashion on Monday morning when Dante Leydon received an award from the NSW government.
The 15-year old Jerrabomberra resident, who attends Canberra's Campbell High School, has travelled literally thousands of kilometres to succeed in diving, where she has already competed in seven national school championship events and six national age championships, as well as getting to level one coaching.
And with Canberra's only diving pool- the Olympic pool- open for just four months of the year and being the closest diving pool to Dante, she is forced to travel to Sydney once a fortnight to train.
She has been doing this for a number of years now, and having also travelled to Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, and even the outback town of Lightning Ridge to compete, it has truly been a mammoth effort.
"I want to keep diving for the rest of my life...even though it's hard for me to access to right pools regularly, I would love to go to the Olympics or Commonwealth Games if it was ever possible," said Leydon.
For that ambition to become a reality though, Leydon would need to move to the Brisbane AIS campus, where national diving is based.
But having already placed in the top three representing Diving NSW and having won their 'most improved' award, she said she is happy with where she is at in the sport, and is planning to follow her parents' footsteps in eyeing a career in the defence force.
She moved to diving from gymnastics at eight years of age, where her mother Kristen said she was relieved from competition pressures.
But she immediately took off in diving.
"She qualified for the Australian Schools Nationals in Perth that year, and Diving NSW begged us to take her," said Kristen Leydon.
Dante will travel to Melbourne this Sunday for the National Age Championships.