For anyone who watched Matthew Mitcham’s stunning dives and thought, I could do that, or at the very least thought they’d like to give it a shot, professional diving training is on hand.

Platform Diving, a GLBT-friendly diving club which gets together twice a week to train on the same boards used by Mitcham, is open to anyone, irrespective of their skill level or whether they’ve ever dived before.

Group coordinator Stephen Shaw says that anyone has the ability to become a diver -” it just takes some devotion and a willingness to conquer your fears.

The classes really are for anyone. We have people who have never dived before as well as more advanced people who maybe did some diving at school or at the Nationals level and want to improve their skills.

With coaching coming from an ex-Canadian Nationals champion, Shaw assures all new recruits that there is substantial support in place to assist you in reaching your goals, whatever they might be.

We have people come along who just want to learn how to properly jump off a board and that’s fine as well. I mean, what people get out of this sport completely depends on what they put in and what their goals are. Some people come along and they really want to be able to do a double backflip and they’ll devote themselves and work hard to achieve that.

Some people start to get it in a couple of weeks and then there are others who will come along for a few months and still might not have the courage to jump off the 10 metre board. It depends on what kind of background people have come from as well. I used to be involved with gymnastics so transitioning to diving wasn’t that hard but other people will have to work harder.

Irrespective though, the physical and mental benefits of taking up diving are there for anyone to take advantage of.

Obviously it’s great for your fitness and conditioning and flexibility, but I’d say the greatest area diving can benefit you is in terms of your confidence, Shaw says.

A lot of people are scared to jump off the 10 metre diving board, so it’s something you have to build up over a period of weeks and months. That really is the greatest thing that anyone has to gain from diving -” it is the ultimate confidence builder.

info: Platform Diving training is on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings at the Homebush Aquatic Centre. It costs $20 a session plus $3.50 for entry to the pool. For more information contact Stephen on 0411 555 372.

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