St Andrews College Marayong is one of the few schools in Australia to run a competitive Springboard and Diving program. Each week, students of the College train at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC), under the guidance of thTraining at the same time as the Olympic divers is an inspirational experience. St Andrew’s Divers have been able to witness Olympic divers complete a variety of different dives next to us, which motivates each and every one of us to keep trying and not give up.eir teacher and coach Mrs Anita Weaver. They learn dives and work towards competitions such as the New South Wales Combined Catholic Colleges Carnival, the New South Wales All Schools competition and the School Sport Australia Championships.
This year, while our students are diving at SOPAC, they have been joined at training sessions by New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Diving Australia team members. Each week our students get to watch, converse with, dive next to and take photos with current Commonwealth Games and Olympic Athletes. They have mingled with Commonwealth Games Gold medalist and Olympic medalist, Melissa Wu, Commonwealth Games medalist Esther Qin, and Diving Australia Team members Samuel Fricker, Declan Stacey and Brittany O’Brien. NSWIS and Diving Australia coach, Chava Sobrino is also present on pool deck while our students train and often comments on the progress they are making.
St Andrews College divers Charlise Kenny comments: Training at the same time as the Olympic divers is an inspirational experience. St Andrew’s Divers have been able to witness Olympic divers complete a variety of different dives next to us, which motivates each and every one of us to keep trying and not give up.
The program at St Andrews College has produced divers who went on to School Sport Australia and Pacific School Games Championships. These alumni include Amy France, Jemma France and Tyra Olssen. These same alumni still give back to Catholic Schools diving by officiating at NSW CCC events.
The divers are instructed by coach Anita Weaver who has a long history with the sport of Diving in Australia. She has been one of the head coaches of Parramatta Diving Club for over 25 years, having coached Olympians Melissa Wu and Esther Qin. Anita was awarded by Diving Australia, the Australian Junior Age Coach of the Year in 2003 and was a School Sport Australia Service Award Recipient in 2014. Anita has also been the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Convenor for 15 years and has coached numerous State Teams. She absolutely loves assisting St Andrews College students gain confidence and foster their love of the sport.
“Meeting Olympic divers gave me a huge boost of confidence. Their hard work and determination inspires me to try my hardest even in the most difficult of times. I was really happy meeting people like Brittany O’Brien and Melissa Wu. I hope I can do the best I can" - Matilda Ademecki