A local diving club is taking shape at the Wapakoneta WaterPark in an effort to increase interest in the event among youth.
The twice-per-week diving instruction sessions are being led by Dylon Webb, who works at the waterpark. Webb, 20, from Wapakoneta, is a graduate of Wapakoneta High School. He will be a junior at the University of Findlay starting next school year.
Webb dove all four years of high school and dove competitively for a brief time during his freshman year at UF. He also coached in Celina the past two years.
The idea arose from a need to help the WHS swimming and diving team. The past two seasons, the Redskins have not had any divers and therefore have not scored points in diving events.
So the WHS swimming and diving coach Mark Law, an employee at the Wapakoneta WaterPark, decided to develop interest in diving in order to make the Redskins more competitive in the future.
“We started that this year because our high school swim team, at our league meet, we haven’t been having divers the past two years. We’ve just been giving up points, not having divers,” Law said. “It’s just something we thought we should start to get interest. We’ve had four or five high school kids interested in it, and Dylon was interested in coaching it.”
From his perspective, Webb explained what role Law has played in the dive club at this point.
“He definitely helped me out. The kids all know him. He’s the reason they heard about it,” Webb said. “They showed up, liked it and have stuck with it.”
Webb said each session draws about 8-10 kids, with that group split between high school kids and younger grades.
Webb provided his thoughts on the opportunity to coach the club’s swimmers.
“I was just really happy and wanted to give those kids the same opportunity I had,” Webb said. “They have a lot of talent and dedication.”
Webb explained some keys to diving from his perspective as an instructor.
“One of the things I tell the kids is diving is a very technical sport. It’s very important not to get frustrated your first try and to stick with it,” Webb said. “Smacking can also be frustrating and it can hurt. But once you figure it out, it’s worth it.”
Webb described the nature of the feedback he has received from the kid so far this summer.
“So far everybody that has came out has stuck with it and seem like they’re liking it. A lot of them know each other, and they’re all friends.”
The club’s sessions will last, basically, either until the WaterPark closes or until Webb returns to college, whichever happens first.
As far as the club’s future prospects, specifically with him coaching it, Webb said he is unsure about them, but he is hopeful the club will continue.
“Even though I want to it continue, I’m not sure where that’s going to take me after I graduate,” Webb said. “Hopefully it can continue. I want it to blossom as far as it’s going to go.”
Webb said it’s not too late in the summer for kids to show up at the pool and receive instructions. He said kids of all ages and skill level are welcome to take part in the instructional sessions.