Divers make a splash at Snowball Classic

The Scarborough Diving Club hosted the 25th annual Snowball Classic this past weekend at the Centennial Recreation Centre.

The two-day event brought together nearly 100 individual divers from nine clubs located all over Ontario. This was the club’s first diving event of 2010, and acts as a qualifier for larger diving competitions.

In the stands above the pool, some of the young divers acted out their dives while waiting in their seats. Eyes closed, they seemed to be visualizing what they planned to do before going out to dive for the judges. Other children laughed and played as their siblings and fellow competitors took nervous steps toward the end of the diving board.

The warmth inside the pool area served as a nice contrast to the freezing temperatures outside. Yet it was the warmth of the parents and competitors that stood out the most. The spectators sitting in the stands clapped and cheered for every diver, even if they did do a little bit of a belly-flop.

The diving seemed to get increasingly impressive as the first day went on. With opening ceremonies beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, there was six hours of diving before the day was complete. Competition picked up again promptly at 8 a.m. the next morning, and continued well into Sunday afternoon before wrapping up.

Five judges sat on the deck of the pool close to the diving boards. The judges scored the dives based on each diver’s form in the air, how vertical they were when entering the water, and the amount of splash created. Each round of divers received a 12-minute time slot to practise before the real competition started.

When the competition starts, divers step up and adjust the wheel on the side of the diving board — this part is called the fulcrum.  It allows divers to control how much spring the board will have. After completing their dive, most of the divers were greeted by coaches or friends before drying off. The divers dry off to keep their muscles warm for their next jump. It’s also to get rid of the chlorine which can cause skin irritation and make bathing suits fade with prolonged exposure.

For full competition results visit diveontario.com.