DIVE CLASS makes splash at YMCA

PUHI — Interest in the dive classes was so strong, a limit was put on it, said instructor Andre Johnson.

“We have 30 students right now so we had to limit the class size,” Johnson said at training yesterday.

Johnson, who used to dive at the Waimea Valley performances on O‘ahu and was a dive instructor for the Mililani YMCA, said the students have made a lot of progress in the first week of class.

“We’ll be doing a six-week class, take a break, and probably start another class after that,” Johnson said.

He said acrobatic diving is basically about approach and body control.

The approach is when you’re on the board and body control is what you do to control your body once you leave the board and enter the water.

“There’re a lot of students out there who are interested in diving, and that’s good because there are opportunities for them such as college scholarships,” Johnson said.

For Tom Tannery, the director of the YMCA, the dive classes have attracted several parent-child teams, himself included as he spent time with his daughter Cheyanne on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards while mom Wendy watched from the pool deck.

Tannery said the dive classes meet for an hour on Wednesday and two hours on Saturday. Wednesday’s class comes on the heels of Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics practice and takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday practice goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tannery said the dive classes are just one of the new areas the YMCA is opening up to offer more to the community.

He said that currently, there are high school competitions for diving in the state, but it’s not just a matter of diving off the board.

Tannery said in order to be eligible for high school competition, there are several criteria divers must meet including mastering several dives including outward and inward dives.

For yesterday’s practice, Johnson supervised divers off the 3-meter board while the other instructor, Scott St. Clair, monitored and worked with divers at the 1-meter board.

St. Clair was a gymnast in high school and college, but because of a shortage of divers while he was in high school, he was recruited to be part of the dive class.

“(Being a YMCA instructor) gives me a chance to throw my body in the air and stick it in the ground,” he said as he climbed the stairs to the 3-meter board for a quick warm-up dive before the class convened.

Johnson said a lot of the divers are self-taught and having the boards here and available, he’s been “flabbergasted” by what the divers bring to the pool in knowledge.

“Primarily, a lot of them know the basics and we only reinforce what they already know,” Johnson said.

For more information, people can call the YMCA of Kaua‘i at 246-9090.

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