Star Diving Club was formed in 1973 as a collaboration between Wally Clark and Susan Erskine. Wally was chief coach until 1979, then Susan took over until she moved out of the area in 1986.
The club started at the sports complex in the centre of Guildford, now replaced by the Odeon cinema, before moving to our current home at Guildford Spectrum.
Brian Mitchell joined the club in the late 1970s when his son learnt to dive, and was persuaded by Wally to train as a diving coach. Brian later took up the mantle of chief coach in the late 1980s. Following him were Arthur Brough and then Andy Hewat, who is now club president.
Over the years the club have developed from primarily teaching safe diving at recreational level to county standard, with the club meeting once a week. However, coaching competitively up to national standard was achieved only with a limited number of divers in the early days.
For many years the club had around 50/60 divers, due mainly to coaching availability and pool time. A brave decision, however, was made in 2009 by the club committee to appoint a full-time head coach, Jo Hewat.
A few years later she was succeeded by her brother, Stephen. He undertook visiting local schools to identify talented individuals who showed an aptitude towards diving, which resulted in a further group of divers being accommodated within the club structure.
The outcome has been an expansion of coaches and pool time, allowing the club to provide a variety of training levels from beginners up to county, regional and national standards, with some impressive results.
In 2016 the club was granted charitable status and registered with the Charity Commission.
Nowadays numbers tend to fluctuate between 175 -225, providing the basis for further development of members' abilities, which is dependent on coaching availability and pool time.
Our current head coach is Kirsty McMahon, a former diver at the club. Did you know she was the girls' Group C winner at the National Skills Finals in 2007?
Fast forward to the present day and the club continue to promote and grow diving as envisioned by Wally and Susan back in 1973.