Diving coaching is run by Active Luton under the leadership of Sam Buck (Diving Development Officer) and Hayley Sage (Performance Diving Coach).
Sam joined Active Luton on 1st February 2016. Before taking this coaching position he was the Head Coach and Development Officer at the Cambridge Dive Team for almost 10 years. Whilst working at the Cambridge Dive Team he coached 3 different divers to Junior British titles and had 3 divers finish in the top 6 at Junior European level. Alongside this, he had numerous Age Group National Champions as well as success at Novice level. Sam is a former winner of the SportsCoach UK National Young Coach of the Year award which he won in 2009. This award is given to the top coach under the age of 25 across all sports on a national scale. All of these are fantastic achievements considering Sam was never a diver himself!
Sam’s background is in gymnastics where he had a 16 year career competing at both Junior and Senior international level for Great Britain. Sam became Junior National Champion at under 18 level and won various individual apparatus titles. He started coaching gymnastics alongside his rigorous 30 hours a week training regime at the age of 15. Sam continued training in gymnastics whilst studying at Loughborough University in Sport and Exercise Science. Unfortunately it is here that Sam was forced to retire from the sport after suffering a double stress fracture to his lower back whilst preparing to compete in the World Student Games.
Whilst at university, Sam received a phone call from the Cambridge Dive Team asking him if he would like to try and transfer his gymnastics knowledge in to the sport of diving and started as an assistant coach 2 days after his final exam. Within 18 months Sam had grown as a coach and was in a fortunate position to take over as Head Coach in 2007. The rest they say is history, however, things could have been very different if Sam had been successful in his auditions to become James Bond’s stunt double!
Sam is now an established part of the England Talent Diving Programme and can regularly be seen at National training camps working with young divers on their strength, flexibility and acrobatic skills alongside their diving technical skills.
As the Performance Diving Coach, Hayley works with the elite and skills level divers and monitors progression in all the diving squads.
At the age of 19 Hayley started to train professionally in Sheffield, British diving’s national centre, and competed around the world on the international Grand Prix and World Series circuits.
Hayley competed in the 3 metre synchronised diving event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Hayley won the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the 3 metre synchronised diving event.
As well as being a Level 2 Coach, Hayley is a qualified international Fina diving judge allowing her to judge the top junior and senior divers worldwide. Outside diving, Hayley studied health and social care and worked with people with learning disabilities for 5 years.