Sunday, September 26, 2010

Duke Aquatics Diving

What it is: This is a really unique new opportunity for kids and parents in the area.  Duke Aquatics Diving is a year-round diving program that is based on education, life skills and the sport of diving.  They instruct all ages of students from preschool through competitive programs in both on-land diving skills preparation and work in the pool.  While they already have a wide variety of programs for children 6 and up, they are working on creating a program for preschoolers that would be all in their dry land facility and focus on skills kids would need in diving.  The program would be similar to a Little Gym or other gymnastics-based program. 

Preschoolers would have the option of attending once or twice a week, several times a month, or even just once for a playgroup meeting.  We had the opportunity to head over to Duke Aquatics Diving and check it out last week.  We had no idea what to expect visiting a diving center that had no water, but we had a wonderful time.  The facility is located in an old YMCA building and is currently used to train all levels of divers including two Olympic athletes. 

So, our little group of toddlers showed up and their eyes immediately lit up when they saw the equipment.  There were diving boards hooked up to TV's so you could watch yourself dive, big mats to cushion your landing and play on, several trampolines, and a spring floor.  The kids were ready to explore.  Since this facility was for all ages of kids, it was not designed to be toddler friendly, but with adult supervision, the kids had a wonderful time.  We had an hour introduction to diving.  In that hour we spent about twenty minutes doing skills on the spring floor, twenty minutes jumping on the diving board onto the mats, and about twenty minutes learning how to jump on the trampolines all facilitated by the wonderful Coach Beau. 

What we liked: This was such a unique opportunity for the kids, and what toddler doesn't like jumping on trampolines and diving boards.  I also liked the fact that the program is just starting out.  That means that anyone who becomes involved gets to help determine exactly what the program will look like and what would work best for their kids.  Beau was also a great instructor and the kids warmed up to him faster than they have to other coaches in the past.  Personally, I would love to have my child take a class because he enjoyed his first visit so much.  If that isn't an option for us however, there is also the option to come back for a playgroup meeting.

What we would change: Because the facility is for all ages of athletes, it is not toddler-safe, so you can't let your toddler simply roam to explore the equipment.  In addition, since the program is just beginning there are not any set class times or opportunities yet.  You would have to call to set up what you want.

Website and other important information:

Website: (They are currently updating their website so some of the information is out of date.)

Address: 808 West Trinity Ave., Durham, NC, 27701

Phone Number: 919-215-1722


Contact Name: Beau Bunn

Pricing Information: $55/month for once a week, one hour classes (special pricing is available upon request for playgroups and other opportunities.)


1. A view of the facility

2. The diving boards and mats

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