THE WINTER TRAINING SEASON is largely over and diving clubs have more pool time spare. There may still be a bit of pool training going on, but generally divers
are now taking to the sea and putting their confined-water training into practice.
To make use of this spare pool time and create a great social for new and old divers alike, how about running your own diving-club pool Olympics
Here we have some events that anyone can enjoy without taking things too seriously - events of strength, speed, skill and agility (or lack thereof).
First, a few words on safety. We dont want anyone to have a nasty accident. If you run a pool Olympics you need to make sure that all divers are briefed on not holding their breath while ascending, so as to avoid barotrauma.
As with any sporting event, you need referees, marshals and safety cover, so that if anyone gets into medical difficulties they are spotted and assisted immediately.
We dont expect it, as divers are generally healthy, but better safe than sorry.
With that out of the way, let the games commence...

RELAY CHANGEOVER
An easy addition to any relay race, like the hoops race, is to have only one set of diving kit per team. At the end of each leg of the relay, the kit has to be swapped under water.

HOOPS RACE
To get those who just like to race along nicely warmed up, a simple relay race along
the pool can be made more entertaining by adding some hoops to swim through - the same hoops you may use for buoyancy training. There are no penalties for hitting them
or catching them, except those that come from dragging a hoop and its anchor along, and a team does not finish until all its hoops are back at their starting places.

EGG AND SPOON
An underwater egg & spoon race works upside-down, with a ping-pong ball instead of an egg, held under water by the spoon. This is a race that tests a steady hand and nice even swimming.
If the ball is dropped and floats to the surface, the diver may catch it only with the spoon, and must return to the bottom of the pool with it before going on.
This event can be run as a race for individuals or as a relay, and can be spiced up further with a few hoops to fit through on the way.

TARGET FRISBEE
Getting away from straight races, target frisbee is a field event run with an underwater frisbee and a hoop.
As in the high-jump or pole-vault, each diver gets three attempts to throw the frisbee through the hoop before being eliminated. Working across the pool, lane markers can be used to set the throwing line, with the hoop being moved back half a lane at a time. You can play exactly the same game with a finned dart.
A variation, if you dont have a frisbee, is to float the hoop at the surface, then take a ping-pong ball to the bottom of the pool and let it go. The objective is to get it to pop to the surface inside the hoop.
To increase the distance, the event can progress from the shallow to deep end.

SOMERSAULTS
Somersaults is another game with many variations. For freedivers: who can turn the most somersaults on one breath With diving kit: who can turn the most somersaults in one minute
If any part of the divers body or equipment breaks the surface, that somersault does not count.
If it looks too easy, make it backward rather than forward somersaults.

CHARIOT RACE
We said these were the pool Olympics, but our final event comes straight from Romes Colosseum and Ben Hur.
A chariot consists of two or more divers with kit, lacing their arms and shoulders as if in a rugby scrum.
The charioteer is a diver with only a mask, no dive-kit or fins, who stands on the cylinders of the chariot, breathes off an octopus regulator from the chariot, and either holds directly on to the pillar-valves of the chariot divers, or onto a short reign tied to the pillar-valves. If a chariot comes apart, or the charioteer comes off his or her feet, the whole chariot must halt while everyone gets back in place, then make a 360° turn before continuing.
Usually a simple length of the pool and back again is long enough for the event. Or maybe one complete circuit, if we really want to play Ben Hur.