A man diving off a board at the Gilberton Swimming Pool, watched by other members of the Adelaide Swimming Association c.1920. 

The first recorded diving competition was held in 1896, at Queenstown, Port Adelaide, between the Queenstown Swimming Club, and sailors from the HMAS Starlight. 

However, it wasn't until the 1920's that official State Championships were held. These were at several venues, namely the Crystal baths, (situated on King William Street, on the current site of Adelaide Festival Theatre), Gilberton, on the River Torrens, and even in a quarry somewhere south East of Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills, (and yes, there were even fish in there!)

South Australia's first international standard facility City Baths was built in the early 1930's on King William Street, Adelaide, exactly where the Festival Theatre now stands.

It was officially opened in 1938, and boasted two 1 metres, three 3 metres, one 5 metre and one 10 metre and it was replaced with the current Adelaide Aquatic Centre in 1968, although the Diving Pool wasn't open until 1969, because of problems with the tiles lifting.

Diving became quite a feature of Swimming competitions, with displays of straight, fancy, and clown diving, as well as competitions throughout South Australia, including from the King William Street Bridge, the rope bridge at Gilberton, and numerous Country areas. Displays were conducted for many companies, Combined Banks, Electricity Trust, General Motors Holden, and The Salvation Army, to name a few.

Under the umbrella of swimming, Diving had 6 Metro Clubs; North Adelaide, Crystal, Elizabeth, Gilberton, Queenstown & Kensington/Norwood, and 26 Country Clubs; Lameroo, Keith, Mt Barker, Berri, Gawler, Cambrai, Murray Bridge, Nuriootpa, Renmark, Crystal Brook, Mount Gambier, Clare, Cleve, Eudunda, Gladstone, Hawker, Quorn, Jamestown, Kimba, Loxton, Millicent, Pinaroo, Spalding, Tanunda, Woodside & Woomera. Northern Territory also was included, with 2 Clubs that sent divers to Adelaide for State Championships and Shell Age. Because all of these facilities were outdoors, over 30 competitions were squeezed into 5 months of the year, from November to March.

For many years divers dived during summer, and trampolined during winter, and at one stage, SA boasted 3 Australian Champions, in both Diving and Trampoline. 

In 1974 Diving broke away from Swimming to form a separate State Association, for diving, The South Australian Diving Association, SADA. In 1984 a roof was put on the Adelaide Aquatic Centre to bring it up to International Standards, so State Championships were at Elizabeth, which boasted the only other facility with platforms in SA. The Parks community Centre built the only other indoor facility of its time, with a 1 metre and a 3 metre, and this also hosted State Championships.

Education became an important part of SA history in the 70's & 80's with Mitcham Girls High, Seymour College, Lameroo High, Flinders University and Salisbury College, all including diving facilities, and we even had Metro versus Country Schools, competing regularly.

In the 80's once again South Australia set the standard in Australia by conducting "levels" competitions (based upon a diver's standard, not age,) and was the first in Australia to have a high performance program, now known as State Institute Programs, through the South Australian Sports Institute, SASI. SA employed the services of a Chinese Coach, Chen Wen, and from then on we had our Golden Era, boasting Australian Champions in all areas, Male, Female, Juniors & Open. 

The 90's continued our success, and also boasted the best of hosting Nationals with innovative formats, such as medals for the dives with limit, as well as overall, (both with limit, and without, added together) and fun, and participation competitions, such as the World Belly Flop Championships, held from a Diving board on a fork lift, into a make shift pool on Anzac Highway. Masters were another important part of our history, with SA being the first to conduct State Championships, and then include it into the National Championships. At one time, SA boasted 2 World Master Champions, 5 Australian Champions and 7 Place-getters all in the one year. 

In 2000, SADA was replaced by Diving South Australia, DSA, when the majority of clubs amalgamated to form one club, which also became affiliated with Diving Australia, DA, as the governing State Body for diving in South Australia.

Photos below courtesy of the State Library of South Australia

The Crystal Baths on the site which is currently Adelaide Festival Centre.

Diving from the King William Street Bridge approx 1948.