Kiwi diver at peace with walking away from Olympic dream for new passion

You can't accuse Kiwi diver Shaye Boddington of putting all her eggs in one basket.

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Shaye Boddington hoped to go to the Olympics last year but the postponement led her to pour her efforts into another hobby. Source: 1 NEWS

In fact, for the past four years, the 34-year-old has been juggling a few; her job, her family and her sporting ambitions.

However, when Covid-19 postponed the Olympics last year, she told 1 NEWS she had a decision to make.

“Can I keep this up for another year?” she said.

“That level of training, 22 hours a week, whilst running my business and being a single mum - can I keep it up for another year?”

The answer was no – but this isn't a sad story about what could have been.     

Boddington quit diving as a teenager due to mental health issues but went back to the sport 13 years later and found success, making the final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

After that, she had hoped to go to Tokyo and while she never got there, she said that's perfectly ok.

“I left the sport with a lot of suffering attached to it,” she said.

“Now, I've left the sport with so much gratitude and just a heart so full of happiness around my sporting career.”

She's also found another passion; designing and building tiny homes.

Boddington has lived in one for seven years and her company will build around 40 tiny homes for others this year having employed her dad and mum along with 20 others.

Her goal is to create villages where the land is owned by a not-for-profit organisation.

“It gives people a foot in the door, the dignity of owning their own home which can be beautiful and creative and it's theirs without the noose of a mortgage.”

Boddington says life as an athlete taught her to enjoy hard work and while she misses the physical challenge, she hopes her new work will create positive change.

“Some people think things happen for a reason but I think things happen and then you make the reason and so this happened and now I'm just focussing on making a reason for it.”