THE gold medal-winning feat by Chantelle Newbery at the 2004 Athens Olympics has inspired many central Victorians to try diving.
They are doing so on the boards and platform where Newbery, nee Michell, first did so almost two decades ago at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre.
At the weekend a group of about 50 learned or improved their skills during the Country Diving Clinic at the Bendigo pool.
Coaches passing on tips included Peter Panayi, a coach at five Olympic and four world championship campaigns.
It was Panayi, and also Bendigo-based coach Heather Tyter, who played key roles in helping Newbery reach the ultimate - Olympic gold - Australia's first in diving.
During a break at the weekend's clinic, Panayi said he was impressed by the turnout and the skills off the 1m and 3m boards.
More experienced divers such as Bree Mellberg and Jory McDowell showed their prowess off the 5m platform.
Last summer Mellberg and McDowell competed at various national and state
Now based at Ringwood Diving Club, Bree Mellberg is training twice a day to
prepare for competitions.
Peter Panayi said it was great to see diving having an impact in Bendigo again.
"In 1989 an Australia team that competed at a major diving meet in Barcelona included five divers from central Victoria," Panayi said.
"Chantelle Newbery (nee Michell), Bianca Lynch, Sarah Lewis, Elissa Caldwell and Olivia Seritelli were the sport's rising stars, and all were diving at this pool," Panayi said while standing under the tower at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre.
"They were outstanding competitors on the 1m and 3m, and with plenty of encouragement there may be more young divers from this region go on to bigger competitions.
"If one can do it then others can do it," Panayi said of goals to emulate Chantelle Newbery's gold medal-winning performance at the Olympics.
The sport's resurgence in Bendigo is being kicked along by the partnership between the YMCA and diving club.
Panayi said the weekend's Country Clinic was not just about watching the divers.
"Diving Victoria has run a workshop for parents who may be interested in judging at competitions."
Always on the lookout to help clubs improve, Panayi said some crash mats to
help with dry land workouts, and maybe another board would be a huge plus
for Bendigo YM Diving.
Heather Tyter was rapt with the response to the two-day clinic.
"To have 50 register was an amazing response."It's fantastic to have coaches like Peter Panayi, Max Swain and Helen Wellins here to help the divers, not just the newcomers, but those who have been diving for a year or two now.
"Everyone is really keen to keep improving and learn new dives," Mrs Tyter said of the two-hour sessions off the boards.
The clinic included a session with physiotherapist Paul Bennett about stretching before and after competition.
The Bendigo Diving Club trains on Monday, Thursday and Friday at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre from 5pm.
A Sunday session at the Barnard Street pool starts at 11am.
For details about joining the diving club, phone coach Heather Tyter on 0438 424 503 (ah).