USA Diving Hosts Learn to Dive Day 2018

KNOXVILLE, TN - July 31, 2014: An Unknown Diver during the 2014 USA Diving Age Group and Junior National Event at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria
Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

By Erin Keaveny, Swimming World Contributor. 

USA Diving hosted National Learn to Dive Day with 21 participating club teams across the country, introducing junior athletes to diving, on Saturday, October 20.

The event welcomed junior athletes, ages 8 to 18, who are not currently USA diving members to attend a free diving practice at one of the participating clubs, and receive a complimentary USA Diving Membership for the day, and a USA Diving towel.

The initiative’s purpose was to promote USA diving to junior athletes, and increase awareness and interest in the sport nationally.

This is the first time USA diving has hosted an event like this.

“The turnout was amazing,” said West Chester Diving coach Ronn Jenkins. 

Of the 33 divers at WCD’s event in Connecticut, only 3 were from their team. They had so many new divers, the club called in additional coaches for assistance.

Many of the junior athletes in attendance were local, and speaking to their parents, Coach Jenkins found that many of them never knew that diving was an accessible sport for their children, or that programs like WCD existed.

“People are afraid sometimes,” said Krista Klein, GC Divers’ head coach. “Now they have a different perspective on what diving is. It changed people’s perspective on the sport.”

22 new divers attended GC’s event in Texas. Some of those new divers have never gone into the pool head first, one young athlete even had to quit swimming due to her fear of diving. By the end of the session, the girl’s overjoyed mother was watching her dive right in.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been aware of this kind of event,” said Coach Klein. “It’s a great idea to let people know that this sport is out there. We had our elite divers training at the same time, so it was great for them to see that.”

Klein hopes to introduce new athletes to diving, and that USA Diving continues to host this event.