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.
Fito Started diving 1979 and spent 8 years on the Mexican National Team
He is a qualified diving and trampolining coach, starting his coaching life in Bradford in 1999 and then in Southampton in 2006.
Fito has Coached 6 different Elite Junior National medalists (up to April 2007) and has had seven International appointments as coach to GB Junior Team (up to April 2007)
In May 2016 Fito claimed a gold medal at the European Masters Championships in London in the men’s 45-49 year-old platform competition.
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 Commonwealths and 2000 Olympic Games
Her coaching career began in Plymouth 1992 and she has since coached for Leeds, Bradford and Southampton and has since relocated back to Plymouth in 2007.
Tonia Couch is one of the most experienced active English divers, having competed at six World Championships and two Olympic Games.
Couch’s first major international medal came in the first event to be held at London Aquatic Centre as she landed 10m Synchro bronze with Sarah Barrow.
The pair went on to win European gold in 2012, European silver in 2013 and Commonwealth silver for England at Glasgow 2014.
Couch is also a world class competitor in the individual 10m Platform event, having finished fourth at the 2014 World Cup and landed a host of medals on the FINA Diving World Series.
Matthew Dixon was the star of his age group in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as he landed a clean sweep of the 1m, 3m and Platform titles at three consecutive British Elite Junior Championships.
A Group B Platform bronze medal for the ASA England Programmes team at the 2013 Trofeo Niccolò Campo set him up for what would prove a breakthrough season in 2014.
Less than two months after turning 14, Dixon won the British Championship 10m Platform crown in Sheffield, then won European Junior bronze, finished ninth for England at the Commonwealth Games, and eighth in the Group B Platform final at the World Junior Championships in Russia.
Dixon continued his progress in 2015, winning silver at the British Championships and a fourth straight British Elite Junior Platform title, competing for the final time in the Group B age group.