Straight Down with Success: Regina club is an emerging presence in the world of diving

Diving may be mostly an individual sport, but the Regina Divers Club have used teamwork to achieve a list of accolades.

The Regina Diving Club has become a pipeline to schools south of the border with four divers recently receiving NCAA scholarships. This year’s total narrowly surpassed last year’s three scholarships which was the previous high from the diving club.

Long-time coach of the Regina Diving Club Laura Desautels feels one of the reasons the Regina Diving Club has become successful, is the strong bond that is developed between the divers of all ages.

The rapport between the swimmers begins as early as four-year-old with the Tumblebugs, the youngest group of the Diving Club. The youngest competitive group for the Diving Club are the 5- and 6-year-olds. Desautels noted that they spend a lot of time training on land with the younger athletes with an emphasis on gymnastics.

Even though diving is often thought as an aquatic sport, Desautels says the athletes spend half of the time training on land.

“When we start training every day, the kids spend an hour and a half on the pool deck, on the trampoline, the dry boards, the mat, tumbling, a lot of strength, a lot of flexibility involved, balance, coordination, there are a lot of things that go into a good diver.”

To help accommodate the divers take part in other sports, Desautels explains that they the Diving Club practices up to three hours at a time, but they only practice a couple of days a week.

Setting the example for the younger divers are the older ones including the 18-year-old competitors, Desautels says the older divers are viewed as role models by the younger ones.

On a national stage, the Regina Diving Club usually has a visible presence. Desautels says the Regina Diving Club is usually has the second or third most divers competing at the Nationals.

Internationally, Canada has been fortunate in Diving, Desautels says the Canadians are more successful than the Americans, which is a reason that more NCAA schools are looking towards more Canadian athletes.
Four girls who grew up in the program and will head south of the border with scholarships, Chloe Jones (Concordia University St. Paul Golden Bears), Brooklyn O’Day (University of Alabama Crimson Tide), Amelia Sharp (University of North Texas Mean Green) and Claire Werner (Bowling Green State University Falcons).

Chloe Jones. Photo: Regina Diving Club
Amelia Sharp. Photo: Regina Diving Club
Brooklyn O’Day Photo: Regina Diving Club
Claire Werner. Photo: Regina Diving Club

Desautels is very proud of the four girls, not only for their individual achievements, but also being strong role models for the younger divers, especially since they started out as divers who looked up to the older ones.

“I’ve watched them grow up since they were seven years old, just going from tiny little girls looking up to their role models and now they are the role models, so to watch them go off, is pretty cool.”

One of the things Desautels enjoys most about coaching is watching the divers grow up and head off to university and have them return during the holidays to work the rest of the Diving Club.

A driving force behind the success for the Diving Club is the encouragement that the divers give each other.

“Even with these four, I’ve seen them go through everything together, even some of them over the years wanted to quit, they just had tough years, and they all just stick together.”

No matter the problem, Desautels says they divers can count each other for support.

“You see one of them having a tough practice, there is always somebody, right beside talking them through it, encouraging them.”

Desautels says it’s a special time for the four divers right now, as they complete their final season with the Diving Club.

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