• Pool located at Robbins Academy on the North Side
• Veteran diving coaches Stan Randall of Trinity and Tommy Law of UIW head the programs
• Gymnasts urged to try diving to enhance athletic skills
By JAMES HILL
Diving enthusiasts can take the plunge year-round at the new Alamo Heights Natatorium, located at 705 Trafalgar Road on the North Side.
According to officials, attendees receive tutelage from two of the top diving instructors nationally: coaches Stan Randall and Tommy Law, from Trinity University and the University of the Incarnate Word, respectively.
There are two distinct programs at the aquatic center, which is located at the Excel Academy (formerly Robbins), adjacent to the Alamo Heights Tennis Center.
The facility, maintained by the Alamo Heights Independent School District, opened earlier in 2021 and was built with money from the AHISD 2017 bond.
One, Alamo Heights Diving Club, is for novice and advanced area youths ages 5 to 18.
Another, Alamo Area Aquatics Diving (AAAD), unaffiliated with the Alamo Area Aquatics Association, is competition training for any age, including adults, drawing from a nationwide base.
Randall, piloting Trinity’s program since 2002, has seen three Tigers capture NCAA Division III Women’s National Championships, with 12 earning All-American honors. He’s also coached U.S. National Diving Team members and many elite-group divers.
Law, the head of UIW diving for a decade-plus, including two NCAA Division II national champions, has spearheaded AAAD for more than 25 years.
“We have one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” Randall said. “They are the best safety-belt spotters in the world with the trampoline. We love taking someone from scratch all the way up through their potential.”
Alamo Area Aquatics Diving seeks young beginners wanting to become top-notch competitors. Once properly trained, they participate into local, state and national meets.
Preparing student-athletes for successful high school and collegiate careers is one of AAAD’s primary goals, coaches said.
The new natatorium, built with a voter-approved 2017 AHISD bond, sports a pair of 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards, plus other state-of-the-art training tools, such as the trampoline and over-the-water diving belts.
Safety is always a major concern, said AAAD’s staff.
The diving club for novices and advanced divers conducts training from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Meanwhile, AAAD practice time is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Both programs also provide weekend lessons.
Gymnasts are encouraged to give diving a whirl, trainers said. There are many similarities, including tumbling, flexibility and balance, and body awareness in the air.