Local sophomore Cade Robinson has combined diving with gymnastics, which helped him bring home a 6A State Championship with Conway High School.
Normally, his schedule would look quite busy, but because Robinson is enrolled with Arkansas Connections Academy — a tuition-free, online school — it has allowed him the freedom to compete in these two events.
“We love the flexibility Arkansas Connections has allowed him because he is able to do both,” Robinson’s mom Mary said. “It would almost be impossible if he had to go to school from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. With that schedule, he had to practice before and after school, but with the flexibility, he can practice when he needs to and do school.”
With this schedule Cade doesn’t have to worry about getting up early to practice for diving and then rushing to practice after school.
He can now practice when he sees fit “as long as he gets his schooling in,” Mary said.
Being online for school also allows Cade to work on both diving and trampoline and tumbling.
“I would say it’s beneficial to go to Arkansas Connections Academy because you have time to focus on school, but you also have time to focus on training on sports if you are serious about it,” he said.
Cade said he trains five times a week and this is his second year diving, but it may be the gymnastics that have helped him become a state champion.
“I’ve been diving for two years now, but I also really enjoy trampoline and tumbling,” Cade said. “I was doing flips off the diving board at Sonshine Academy and the lifeguard, who is now one of my teammates saw me and asked my parents and I if I would like to dive.”
Eventually, his coaches saw that Cade could do flips and thus, began competing in diving events.
Cade has also been doing gymnastics since he was 6 years old but left gymnastics to play school sports.
He quickly returned and regularly participates in summer camps.
He is in his fifth year competing in gymnastics and has about one competition a month from November to July.
That coupled with a September through February diving schedule makes things quite busy for Cade with August being the only month for offseason.
Looking forward, Cade wants to participate in diving in college as well as trampoline and tumbling, but there are not many colleges that offer trampoline and tumbling.
But, the goal remains as Cade continues to work hard and apply himself to his craft or crafts.