Kansas born and bred Eleanor Townsend Smart has been diving since the age of 5 and trained her whole life with the hope of making the Olympics. She ultimately fell short of that goal and when she got back involved with the sport of diving, she wanted to add a bigger meaning, a bigger purpose; it had to help people and impact the world in some positive way, not just herself. That's when she founded The Clean Cliffs Project, whose mission is to prevent plastic pollution in our world's bodies of water and inspire others to take action through the art of cliff diving!
Here's all you need to know:
- Eleanor Townsend Smart was the best performer of those not already qualified for the 2019 World Series during the FINA High Diving World Cup in Abu Dhabi, meaning she earned that golden ticket to join the 6-woman list this season. She finished 3rd behind two stars of the women's competition, Rhiannan Iffland and Lysanne Richard, and at just 23-years-old, Eleanor Townsend Smart is the youngest permanent diver on the tour this year.
- A strong debut in 2017's World Series season opener where Ellie took the lead up until the 3rd round in the harsh conditions in Ireland's Inis Mór finishing on 5th place after four rounds showed a first glimpse of her talent – her personal best result until today.
- She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a degree in Media Studies in 2015. After completing her undergrad, she began her masters in sport psychology while also pursuing her professional cliff diving career.
- Together with her partner Owen Weymouth, a cliff diver from Great Britain, she founded The Clean Cliffs Project to create awareness of plastic pollution. Every place they go for cliff diving they work with local activists and recycling facilities to reduce plastic pollution in oceans and rivers. So far they've realised projects in Croatia, Costa Rica and Bali. 30 ambassadors, among them athletes and cinematographers, from 20 different nations support their mission.
- The core values of their project are passion, responsibility, sustainability, collaboration, education and creativity.
- During the season's first event in the Philippines, The Clean Cliffs Project teamed up with adventure blogger Jackson Groves, an Australian with Philippine residency, who introduced the project's mission to his huge followership and helped organise beach clean ups while having a great time with the cliff diving family.
- "Wherever we go we see humankind's foot print. I want my children and my grandchildren to experience the world in a very beautiful way, and so I hope that by cleaning and creating an awareness I've been helping that my kids will get to experience these beautiful places that I have," states pro diver and environmentalist Eleanor Townsend Smart.
- Find out more: https://www.cleancliffsproject.org.