Kater spring boarding into teaching

Kater spring boarding into teaching - A woman standing in a pool of water - Leisure
Max jumps off the dive board at Founders Park. Max started diving two years ago and has been working with Kelly Kater since she came on as springboard dive master in November. JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

Who’s ready to jump into summer camp season? At Founders Park, new springboard dive master Kelly Kater is.

With 10 years diving competitively and recreationally, Kater has spent much of her time at the pool and coaching dive lessons. She’s now taking her passion to Founders Park, teaching kids the technique. In July, Kater will be heading up the summer springboard dive camp while also teaching the swim and dive combo camp alongside coach Jon Olsen.

Since November, Kater has been working with young swimmers and divers.

“Watching them grow and progress is really rewarding,” said Kater, who grew up outside Philadelphia and came to the Keys three years ago. “When I moved down here, I was able to get involved with the Coral Shores High School program, and that opened up to this opportunity to spread the love to the younger members of the community.”

What will springboard camp participants learn? Kater said they’ll develop basic mechanics such as safely going off the board forward and backward. They’ll also learn to go in head first if they’re not comfortable already doing so.

“As quickly as they progress, hopefully we’ll be getting them to do flips and more of the advanced dives as well,” she said.

As for the swim and dive combo camp, kids will learn stroke technique, starts, turns, and basic introduction into springboard diving and dry land training.

Kater said the camps she’s coaching allows kids to enjoy the process and learn new skills while being proud of their improvement.

“It’s for any kids who are willing to take a challenge and have fun and be excited to learn something new,” she said.

Kater is a social studies teacher at Coral Shores High School. She also coaches the diving team and helps out with the swimming team. Kater says she’s excited to work with kids and can’t wait to begin the springboard dive camp.

“I love getting the younger community involved with diving, not with the goal to make Olympians, but getting them interested and teaching them to be safe on the dive board,” she said.

The summer springboard dive camp, for ages 8 and up, runs July 15-19. The swim and dive combo camp, for ages 6 and up, goes from July 8-12 with diving from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and swimming from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, contact Kelly Kater at 215-622-6841.

Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures in Western New York. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 5-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club. When he's not working, he's busy chasing his son, Lucas, around the house and enjoying time with family.