Katura Horton Perinchief in action during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. *AFP Photo
Katura Horton Perinchief in action during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. *AFP Photo

Normally, when  you start something new, you want to create a big splash, but that’s normally not a good thing in diving.

Former Olympian Katura Horton-Perinchief will be holding several diving camps this summer. It will be the first time the new National Aquatics Centre will be used for the sport.

Horton-Perienchief is hoping to inspire the next generation of divers, a sport that has seen three Bermudians compete at the Olympics, including Francis ‘Goose’ Gosling’s 10th place finish at the 1948 Games.

She said since the pool opened a year ago, she has been planning on giving back to teach young people about the sport.

Horton-Perinchief said: “Diving is a lot of fun for every kid, but it especially appeals to those adrenaline junkies — those high-energy kids that society likes to slap labels on and tell them they have some sort of behaviour disorder. 

“But diving has saved so many people who are now highly-functional adults, but were labelled as ADHD or ADD back in the day.”

She said since this is a new sport, the kids will get diving basics and safety.

“They’ll develop a love for precision and learning to do a new skill. This is going to be new for every single person that is going.”

The former Olympian said she is bringing in some international divers and coaches to help teach the classes.  

While not naming names, Horton-Perinchief said one diver has competed in the World Championships and another has competed at the World Cup.

Also lending a hand will be FINA-certified diving judge Ellen-Kate Horton, who also happens to be Katura’s mother and was instrumental in her career. 

“She’s going to have a wealth of knowledge and she’s a more advanced judge than I am.”

She said the medium-term goal would be to hold a camp every year.

“The pool isn’t covered — I’m talking about erecting a bubble like with the New York Giants practice bubble so we can hold classes all year so these kids can get university scholarships.”

Horton-Preinchief said the beauty of diving is that the competition for scholarships is a smaller pool for applicants than for other sports.

“It’s a niche sport that appeals to a slight segment of the population, but there is big money to support a person’s education in it.”

Classes start on July 7, but the first week is already fully subscribed. There are spots available for the weeks of July 14, 21 and August 4. Classes run from 8:30am to noon. The cost is $150 per week. There is room for 25 kids per class. Kids have to be between five and 14 years of age.