History of City of Leeds Diving Club

Below you will find a potted history of our Diving Club since 1987 and hear about some of the diving achievements of our club members.


City of Leeds Esprit School of Diving incorporated two diving training schemes, one in Leeds, one in Bradford.

At the Annual General Meeting in 1987 the following Constitutional amendment was taken:

 “We agree that in principle that this Club be reconstituted to form two clubs: City of Leeds and City of Bradford.”

and City of Leeds Esprit School of Diving was formed.

Extracts from Annual General Meeting Minutes Club Coaches’ Report 1987 gives an insight into some of the activities going on at that time.

Leeds based Training Scheme - Coach Jon Cryer

Scheme grown in stature during the past year.  The ‘c’ group currently consisted of approx 77 members training at Morley and Aireborough Most successful year yet with regards to the number of Club competing members. First time in 20 years both County and District Senior titles had been won in the avious competitions (with the exception of one).  Medals also won at national level - the first female national title to go to Yorkshire in 15 years. Zoe Breeze and Alison Roffey had both been selected to the Junior National Squad. This was without the use of the Leeds International Pool which was closed for refurbishment (hope to  be ready for use towards the middle of January 1988).

Leeds City Council hoped to appoint a diving coach who would establish a professional programme. Felt that the Scheme was the largest of its nature in Europe and that the facilities were the best in the country. Hoped that the facilities would soon include a team-gym.

Bradford based Training Scheme - Coach Andy Banks

The Scheme had grown considerably over the past year and due to the increased pool-time the programme had expanded for beginners and improvers. Ten members were progressing rapidly and would be ready to compete at junior level in the coming season

15 medals were won during the course of the 1987 season with medallists in both NEC and YASA competitions. 4 divers travelled to Monheim and competed at the International admirably. Trampolining and gym sessions had been held at Nab Wood.


Looking back in the history books in 1989 membership fees were £9 per diver + £4 ASA registration. The Club continued to gain stature in the national and domestic diving scene. Alison Roffey and Zoe Breeze were both selected as members of the national team. Carolyn Haith was invited as a guest in 1989 to add to her apprearance on the TV in a diving related advert. Jan Gooding and Julian Bellan were commended for their fine work in bringing up some more youngsters into competitive diving during 1989.

1990 At a Special General Meeting the Club agreed to take on the new name City of Leeds Diving Club, to strengthen the links between the Council and the Swimming Club.

1990 saw Alison Roffey selected for the third successive year for the Junior European team.

1991 The Club adopted a new logo designed by John Rusbatch - based on City of Leeds SC logo with a diver incorporated. A new tracksuit/t-shirt was introduced for divers incorporating the new logo.

Tuesday 23 April 1991 was the launch of the new club night. With all diving members taking part in a spectacular diving display. A new banner was made to commemorate the launch and it's still up there on the diving boards at the International Pool. Soon after putting the banner up at the Pool in Leeds we had to undertake some major surgery on it with an industrial sewing machine to stop it all falling apart! (Water/condensation and glue just do not mix well together!)

Julian Bellan left the Club to take up a post at Crystal Palace and Jill Grevett joined the coaching squad.


Adrian Hinchliffe joined the team of coaches bringing a number of talented divers from Bradford with him.


EuroClub competition was held from 11-14 February 1993 as part of the Leeds Centenary Celebrations. The first ever Synchro Diving Competition held in this country was a part of the event.

New tracksuits designed and divers raised money to purchase them with a sponsored somersault event.

Concerns were expressed by the Club to the Council about the proposal to build a new pool in Leeds and the inclusion of facilities for diving.


1994 saw a number of major changes and successes in the Club. Development competitions were introduced aimed at Lesson Scheme divers. Gerrards Sports sponsored the Diving Training Scheme. Adrian Hinchliffe was appointed as a full time diving coach with Leeds City Council. Two of the founder members of the Club left to go pastures new: Alison Roffey to train at Sheffield and Jon Cryer took up a post in Trowbridge.

Anna Rusbatch and Michael Barnes were selected to the Junior European squad.


The Club hosted the British Age Group Nationals at Leeds. Divers undertook a sponsored somersault to raise money to travel out to Barcelona. New tracksuit introduced - designed by the divers. Jon Cryer and Alison Roffey made Honorary Club members for their contribution to the growth of the Club over the years.

(Divers from Sheffield kidnapped the club banner and held it to ransom)


Ady was pleased with the growth of the club, which continued to go from strength to strength. Major successes this year at all levels – National Novices held in Leeds was a great success and the club looked forward to running their own ‘White Rose Novice Invitational’ the following year. Leeds divers at the British Diving Festival brought home a haul of gold, silver and bronze.


Eleven Leeds divers qualified for the British Novice Finals in Cardiff with Victoria Tomlinson and Stacey Cockerham winning Gold. Lucy Hurst and Matthew Bass qualified for the Junior European Championships and the club re-affiliated with the ASA after three years with the GBDF. The club held its inaugural ‘White Rose Novice Invitational’ – a great success!


Coach Caz Francis (nee Roscoe) a two time Olympian herself, left the club to pursue her new career. At the National Championships we won 11 National Titles from Age Group to Senior. The juniors won the Dawdon Shield for ‘Top Age Group Club’ for the first time. Newcomer to the club, Sally Freeman, qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur – the first in the clubs history and Gavin Brown won the clubs first medal at the 6 Nations International.


Gavin Brown won a Junior World Championship Bronze Medal – a first for the club!! At the first ever British Grand Prix, Anna Rusbatch from Leeds dislocated her shoulder competing for Great Britain, whilst performing her inward two and a half somersaults on 10 metre. She ‘pulled herself together’ for the National Championships where she finished an incredible 4th, her team-mate Sally won the National title. Shortly after this last event, Anna conceded to the recurring injuries and retired from the sport to become a coach. A brand new tracksuit was brought in – matching the City of Leeds Swimming Club.


Sally Freeman became the club's first ever Olympian – competing in the Sydney Olympics. Sally also won Synchro medals in the Mexican, British and Australian Grand Prix as well as finishing 7th in the European Championships.  The Club won the Dawdon shield for the third time consecutively, National Novices proved successful for the COLDC who won the team title and Rebecca Burrows and Gavin Brown both won medals at the Six Nations International at Southampton! The Club had two divers on the World Class Lottery Programme.


First Northern Cross event held in Leeds, a very successful event with simultaneous diving preliminary rounds adding to the excitement of the competition.


First Junior European medal for Emma Teather, divers from Leeds selected for the World Class Start programme. Members of City of Leeds Diving Club part of the Team of volunteers and officials helping to make the Commonwealth Games a success.

A total of 27 medals were won throughout the National Intermediate and National Age group competitions. Tandi Gerrard won Gold in Women’s 3m Synchro at the British Championships. She then went on to become our second Olympian taking 4th place in the Ladies 3m Synchro event in Athens with her partner Jane Smith from Sheffield. Junior diver Callum Johnstone, took bronze medal on platform at the World Junior Diving Championships in Brazil.

Leeds still continues to be a major force in senior events across the country, mainly achieving in the women’s events. National Novice Medallists Alicia Blagg and Mayuto Kobayashi both won Gold showing promise for the future. Tandi Indergaard still dominates women’s springboard events in GB having a successful year winning three Gold’s at both the British Championships and the English National Championships in the Women’s 1m, 3m and 3m Synchro. She also finished within the top 10 at the European Champions cup, Canada GP, USA GP and the World Chanpionships. The City of Leeds Diving Club successfully hosted the White Rose Novice Diving competition. The coaches have become a strong unit of dedicated staff thanks to the support of Leeds City Council.

Three Leeds divers represent England at the Commonwealth Games:  Tandi Gerrard, Rebecca Gallantree and Callum Johnstone.  Tandi along with her synchro partner Hayley Sage won bronze medal in the 3m event. Charles Calvert and Callum Johstone represented Great Britian at the Junior European Championships in Majorca, Spain where they acheived a podium place taking the Bronze medal in the 3Meter Syncro Event. Michael Barnes has retired for the second time in his career.  Micheal came back at the age of 24 hoping to surpass what he achieved as a junior.  He successfully won a collection of national medals and was International selected for Great Britain twice. He has truly demonstrated what can be achieved if you have the drive and will be missed. The club’s support in the forms of fundraising and organisation has allowed for larger travelling teams to attend competitions in an attempt to improve success.   

Marc Holdsworth awarded Margaret Davies Trophy as top Age Group Coach of the Year.  Team Leeds win the Belle White Trophy for the best performing womens team of the year (points accumulated from ASA Winte and Summer National events).  City of Leeds Diving Club moves to it's new home at the new pool at the Aquatics Centre, John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds.  Celebrations to mark the End of an Era of Leeds International Pool included a combined diving/swimming display/fun day followed by an evening End of an Era dinner at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.  White Rose 2007 is the inaugural meet at the new pool.  Divers from Leeds were part of the British Team competing at the inaugural FINA Diving World Series Leg 1 held in Sheffield in September 2007 (Tandi Gerrard, Rebecca Gallantree, Callum Johnstone) and also the inaugural Klinger/Cook Event (England vs Germany) Charles Calvert, Callum Johnstone (3m Synchro), Tandi Gerrard, Becky Gallantree (individual final) and Suzanne Collins.

City of Leeds Diving Club Women's Team winners of the Belle White Trophy 2008. Two of our club divers represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games: Tandi Gerrard and Rebecca Gallantree, finishing in the top 10. Marc Holdsworth left the club to take a new post as Coach at the new diving pool in Sunderland. Saffron Sutcliffe attended the Junior European Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Suzanne and Jenny won the European Champions Cup in Stockholm.

The City of Leeds Diving club’s coaching team has been growing and we are pleased to welcome Adam Smallwood, Connie Montgomery and Jenny Cowen to the Team.

Jenny Leeming has been appointed as the new Development Diving Coach, Jenny had previously been a coach at the Edinburgh Diving Club. 5 national titles went to City of Leeds divers as well as excellent international performances. Helen and Carol Galashan took Bronze at European Championships in Women’s Platform Synchro as well as Rebecca Gallantree making the Final in Women’s 1m springboard at Worlds in Rome.


The Olympics will also come to Leeds.  Both Russia and Australia have requested to complete their Olympic pre-camps at Leeds, the USA diving team are also going to be present for a few training sessions during the build up. Our events are expanding and providing great opportunities for all our competitive members. Clubnight, White Rose, G-Star and now Club Championships are all running smoothly. The women still dominate within the Great British National competitions, all event Gold’s were won by the Leeds ladies (Alicia Blagg, Helen Galashan, Rebecca Gallantree, Stacie Powell and Sarah Barrow). The Men’s results have not impacted well this year, still looking for improvement from this area.

2011 to present day will be updated soon…