New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) has awarded funding to Auckland Diving Community Trust (ADCT) for NZ$15,000 towards the annual salary of head coach Steve Gladding, who has been the head coach at Auckland diving since 2015 and has coached for both Great Britain and New Zealand at the Olympic Games, 4 Commonwealth Games and over 10 World Championships and World Cups.
With the provision of these funds NZCT is supporting Auckland Diving to provide ongoing access to world-class training for divers as well as mentoring and development of diving coaches to an international standard.
“Auckland Diving is very fortunate to have a coach of Steve’s calibre leading our diving programmes which have prospered since his arrival,” said ADCT Chairperson, Dene Wilson. “Our young coaches are thriving under his guidance, and we have some fantastic young divers coming through the pipeline who have all benefited from the wealth of international experience Steve has brought to the table. This funding helps us to provide our athletes and coaches with the development they need to compete on the world stage.”
Diving is growing both in terms of popularity and profile in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland where there is a focus on making diving more accessible to more people through a range of initiatives which include the schools development programme; whanau sessions; free trials and ‘Have A Go’ days.
In addition to his coaching focus, Steve has been a driving force behind ADCT’s community outreach initiatives, and diver recruitment programmes which are helping to build a solid talent base and grow awareness and enjoyment of the sport at a grassroots level.
“We’re already seeing some promising diving talent in our programmes and I think there are a lot more potential divers out there,” commented Steve “we just need to give them the opportunity to try the sport as we find a lot of kids really love it once they do.”