In an effort to restart its diving program, Brandon Sports and Aquatics Center has recruited two-time Olympian Chris Colwill to head the program.
Colwill jump-started the effort last week with a free dive clinic and will host another one this Saturday , from 10 a.m. to noon, inviting all potential divers and their parents to the center to determine ages, abilities and levels of commitment. The actual Blue Wave Diving Program will begin in March as temperatures begin to warm.
"We've had a lot of interest in diving, but have not had the right person and didn't want to start it up again until we did," said Lori Bukaweski, associate executive director of the swim center.
"We approached Chris with the idea before the Olympics. He did some traveling in Europe after the games, then came home and worked it out with us," Bukaweski said.
Initially, Colwill will work part time.
The Olympian literally grew up at the club, beginning with swim lessons and progressing to become a top-notch diver before leaving to attend the University of Georgia, where he was the 2006 NCAA Diver of the Year and medaled at the NCAA Championships, SEC Championships, U.S. Open, Canadian Cup, and FINA World Championships.
"I am truly excited to be back home, get back to my roots, and help kids get better at something I really love," Colwill said in a release issued by the aquatics center.
Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center ended its dive program about two years ago when leadership dissolved, Bukaweski said.
"We would rather have had no dive program than the wrong person in there," she said.
"This is a fresh beginning for the program."
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center is located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon. To learn more, contact member services at (813) 689-0908 or email MemberServices@mybsac.org.