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Auckland Diving provides springboard for local talent

A record squad of eight divers was recently named to represent New Zealand at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. And that fantastic achievement was no surprise to Steve Gladding, Head Coach of Auckland Diving Community Trust.

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‘Five Auckland divers are represented in the Commonwealth Games team,’ Steve declares. ‘And that highlights the scale of local talent,’ he adds.

However, Steve is quick to point out that diving isn’t just an elite sport. ‘Diving is fun and dynamic, and we cater for all ages and abilities,’ says Steve.

Auckland Diving Community Trust is made up of Diving Waitakere and North Harbour Diving. Operating mainly out of Henderson’s West Wave, Auckland Diving delivers a range of professional classes for adults and children aged from five. No experience is necessary. You just need to be able to swim comfortably in deep water and have a willingness to learn.

According to Steve, divers come from all backgrounds. He says that members include gymnasts, cheerleaders, rugby players, and kids who love being in the water.

‘Nothing beats the thrill of jumping off the diving board,’ says Steve. ‘Most people find they quickly get hooked,’ he adds.

Auckland Diving currently has around 250 active members. Covid has been hard for the sport, with swimming pools shut for long periods during lockdown.

However, things are back on track, and Steve is confident the Birmingham Commonwealth Games will see a surge of interest in diving.

According to Steve, Auckland Diving aims to make the sport as accessible as possible. And a big part of that is keeping membership fees affordable. A not-for-profit organisation, Auckland Diving relies on the support of funders.

‘Membership fees only go so far, and it’s tough to get help from funders with salary costs,’ notes Steve. However, he adds that the available support has also been hit by Covid. And so, there's not as much to go around.

Auckland Diving applied to the Your West Support Fund for help with salary costs. The $5,000 of funding came at just the right time.

‘The Your West Support Fund has had a massive impact. It meant we could keep going during the difficult lockdown period,’ says Steve.

Auckland Diving welcomes new divers, and under 17-year-olds can sign up for a free trial class at West Wave. There's also a top-rated school holiday programme, which runs at West Wave.

So, if you are ready to dive in, check out the website for more information or follow Auckland Diving on Facebook.