USA diving forms partnership with IRSC; Educational center to be developed on fort pierce campus
BY SUZANNE SELDES
USA Diving recently announced during its Olympic team trials in Indianapolis that it is moving its executive offices to Indian River State College’s main campus in Fort Pierce.
The college and diving organization plan to develop facilities and resources to support athlete and coach development and the growth of diving in the United States. The partnership greatly expands the ability for the national governing body to deliver on its mission to champion, support and grow the sport of diving in the United States and support USAD athletes in achieving excellence in diving and beyond.
Under the agreement, funds will be raised jointly to construct a world-class, international diving facility on IRSC’s main campus; create a coach development center to serve as USA Diving’s centralized educational platform for the systematic development of all levels of USAD coaches, divers and judges; develop state-of-the-art training facilities where USAD athletes, coaches and personnel can improve their performance through access to enhanced data-driven technologies; and fully leverage the commitment of both the college and USAD to expand diversity and inclusivity in the sport.
“Partnering with Indian River State College advances our purpose meaningfully and significantly,” Lee Michaud, president of USA Diving, said in a news release. “IRSC has a storied swimming and diving franchise and an unrivaled commitment to developing student-athletes in the sport. This partnership brings the prospect of a home for USA Diving with access to exceptional facilities surrounded by a proactive academic environment setting that supports a holistic approach to developing well-rounded athletes and coaches. This approach aligns with our vision for developing champion divers and champion people. This is the perfect time to partner with Indian River State College in that shared vision.”
The college is a nationally recognized leader in education and innovation. It is a recipient of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges, and is one of the most affordable colleges in the nation.
IRSC holds the longest unbroken U.S. winning streak in any sport at the collegiate level with 47 consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association men’s swimming and diving titles and 39 consecutive NJCAA women’s swimming and diving titles [43 overall women’s titles]. The college’s five campuses serve more than 26,000 students annually. In support of its mission to make education broadly accessible, IRSC received a $45 million gift in December from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
“We’re delighted to house the USA Diving headquarters here at IRSC and assist in their efforts to recapture America’s position as the top nation in the sport,” IRSC president, Dr. Timothy Moore, said. “The project has enormous upsides for our students and employees and direct economic impact for the communities that we serve. We look forward to hosting international competitions on our campuses, providing a path to the Olympics for our student-athletes, collaborating on the development of an educational platform for USAD coaches and judges, and attracting new audiences to the sport of diving.”
USA Diving expects to open its new headquarters this fall and is finalizing plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on campus. The partners also will explore other collaborative activities, including the use of student interns to provide additional USAD support.
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