Diving South Australia was formed in 2000
At that time, there was a handful of diving clubs in Adelaide, and the State Body was the South Australian Diving Association (SADA). As the Adelaide Aquatic Centre (AAC) at North Adelaide was, and currently still is, the only facility in the metropolitan area where people can dive, the clubs were competing for time and space on the same diving boards, which also led to safety issues.
After negotiations between the clubs, and Mike Martens, the then head coach of the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI), the clubs decided to amalgamate, forming one club, which also then became the State Body, Diving South Australia Incorporated (DSA).
DSA is therefore the only diving club in Adelaide (and in fact in South Australia), and is also the State's representative association. The first President of DSA was Alan Naylor, and with the exception of one year, served until June 05. Paul Bugg replaced Alan and served as President until 2011 providing an incredible 10 Years of Service. Michael Parker was Elected President in 2011 and continues to this day.
DSA is also a member of Diving Australia Incorporated (DA) which is the national representative body.
DSA is a not-for-profit organisation, operated by a Board of Management, and run mostly by volunteers, and has approximately 170 members, the majority of which are from 7 to 17 years of age. Depending on their enthusiasm and skill level, the divers train between 1 and 10 sessions per week for between 1 to 3 hours per session.
DSA encourages participation in the sport of diving generally. In other words, we encourage 'recreational' diving (for those not particularly interested in competition), as well as the talented and elite.
At the talented and elite level, DSA continues to have a significant amount of success nationally, despite the relatively small size of DSA, when one compares the numbers with those participating in other States.
At National level, the support comes from Diving Australia, which is supported by the Australian Government, through the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport, as well as The Australian Commonwealth Games Association and Australian Olympic Committee.
At State level, diving is one of the sports in South Australia, which has the support of the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI), and DSA historically has a strong working relationship with SASI.
A large part of that support currently takes the form of the SASI coach, Mike Martens. Mike has spent eight of the past 10 years in Australia and is a former American University/Club National diving coach in both Minnesota and Texas before coming to Australia. Although he primarily coaches those DSA divers who are within the SASI development squad, he will also assist with the coaching of other DSA divers.
DSA also has great depth and strength in, and commitment from, its own coaches. Jeff Arbon is our full time DSA Development Officer and Head Coach, an ex Olympic and Commonwealth Games competitor and 9 times UK National Champion. Nicole Boukaram is our part time Talent Identification Coach, an ex DSA diver and 2002 Commonwealth Games platform competitor. Our other coaches, many of whom are ex divers are paid very little for the enormous number of hours they contribute, and really give their time because they love the sport and working with the divers.
Diving is an excellent sport for children, naturally providing children with the benefits of physical fitness, and, as various studies have demonstrated, diving is the perfect sport for building confidence, as it takes children through a measured and monitored progression over time of harder and harder dives, from higher and higher boards and platforms.
The confidence that diving creates and builds in children, then provides them with the ability, and the capacity, to take on the risks, and meet the challenges, that life throws up to them - whether in school, in social interactions with peers, family and friends, or in other aspects of their lives.
Australia is ranked among the top 10 diving countries in the world rising as high as number 2 behind China after the Athens Olympics. At the Athens Olympics, Australia won 6 medals from its team of 7 competitors. That represented 11% of all medals won by Australian athletes at Athens. At the Beijing Olympics Australian Matthew Mitchum was the only non Chinese diver to win a gold medal (10m platform) and the Australian team of Briony Cole and Melissa Wu finished second, in 3m Synchro.
Diving is also a sport in which a participant has never been accused, let alone found guilty, of taking any form of performance enhancing drugs. This applies not only to Australian divers, but divers internationally. DSA is proud to be a part of the diving fraternity, which clearly has one of the 'cleanest images' of all sports.