In 1992, Andy Banks (along with his mentor Peter Squires) opened up Plymouth City Sports – with a goal to offer the sport of diving to as many people as possible and to nurture whatever talent came along toward the international stage. This was after Andy, in 1988 had successfully set up the UK’s first full-time professional diving programme in Bradford.
Over the years the club has grown and now has in the region of 100 competitive divers supported by an enthusiastic coaching team. In 2012 the club moved from Central Park Pool to the state of the art Plymouth Life Centre. The diving pool itself is of international standard and offers a moveable floor so it can also be used as a standard pool. There is furthermore a bubble machine which reduces the surface tension of the water for divers performing new dives in training.
Plymouth Diving is the competitive arm of the Everyone Active Diving Training Scheme. The training scheme is designed to offer the sport of diving to anyone who is interested from the age of 5 up. Through a series of beginners’ courses talented youngsters are afforded the opportunity of entering the more advanced training squads, where the emphasis is placed on personal achievement, excellence, competitive success and enjoyment. There is also space within the scheme for enthusiastic divers who wish to pursue the sport recreationally, without the pressure of competitive involvement.
We provide opportunities for everyone to get involved; either through the activity itself or as a volunteer to help run events. Several parent members have got involved with scoring and 3 of its events team acted as officials at the London 2012 Olympics in recording and announcing roles – one of whom also worked at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Former members of the club include Olympians; Tom Daley, Dan Goodfellow, Sarah Barrow and Tonia Coach who is now a member of the coaching team. The club also boasts several current International divers.
In May 2017, after more than 30 years of dedicated coaching in Britain, Andy announced his decision to leave Plymouth to accept the role as National Coach to the Australian team in Melbourne. This was a great loss to the club and left a very big hole to fill.
Later in 2017, Alex Rochas was appointed as Head Coach to Plymouth Diving and has proven to be a passionate and motivated replacement for Andy.
The club is constantly striving to improve and offer the best it can to up and coming divers wishing to participate in the sport.
Sally dived in Plymouth from 1985 to 1997, then in Leeds from 1997 to 2000. She is the first diver ever from Plymouth to qualify for a Senior International and also compete in the Commonwealth Games in 1994.
Sally has also dived in the 1998 Commonwalth games and 2000 Olympic Games
Her coaching career began in Plymouth in 1992 and she has since coached for Leeds, Bradford and Southampton, has since relocated back to Plymouth in 2007
Harry began his competitive diving career in 2010 competing at the White Rose in Leeds. The following year Harry clinched the gold medal at the Peter Waterfield Novice. Moving from Skills competitions onto Age Groups Harry continued his success. In 2014 he won an individual silver medal in the 3m event and synchro at NAGS. 2016 NAGS was an equally good year for Harry, winning an individual bronze on the 3m board and a gold 3m synchro medal. Harry embarked on a solo trip to Rome in 2017 to compete in the 7th Trofeo Niccolò Campo. In 2018 Harry made the decision to retire from competitive diving due to injury. He competed for the last time in front of a home crowd at the Armada Cup, where he had won a variety of medals over the years.
In 2014 at the age of 15, Harry was the first diver to complete the ASA South West Young Coach Programme. He went on to be selected for a 12 month programme with ASA, achieving 100 hours of volunteer coaching and also attended a National Young Coach Talent Camp at Loughborough University.
Harry qualified as a Level 2 Coach in July 2016, aged 17.
When Harry is not coaching he’s a Security Officer working on the front line supporting the Covid Testing Programme in Plymouth, an unpaid carer and a Labrador “parent”!