Divers in Plymouth will soon be benefitting from the guidance of a new internationally acclaimed coach.
Alexandre Rochas has been announced as the new Head Coach of Plymouth Diving following the departure of Andy Banks earlier this year. He is due to take up his position with Everyone Active at the Plymouth Life Centre in November.
It is a prestigious recruitment, with Alex having held the position of Head Coach at the National Elite Training Centre in Paris for the past five years. During that time he has coached at the highest international level, leading France to fourth place in the Men’s 10m Platform at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Under Alex’s leadership, Laura Marino and Matthieu Rosset also achieved a gold medal in the mixed team event at this year’s FINA World Championships, and France again finished fourth at the 2017 European Diving Championships after winning two gold medals and one bronze.
The Plymouth Life Centre is run by Everyone Active in partnership with Plymouth City Council and is an official talent development centre for Great Britain’s diving team. As Head Coach, Alex will be responsible for overseeing its entire diving programme, including the progression of up-and-coming athletes and mentoring Plymouth’s top squad to success on the world stage.
Andy Banks had been the Head Coach of Plymouth Diving for the past 20 years, leading the likes of Tom Daley, Dan Goodfellow and Tonia Couch from novices through to international champions. He had been a fundamental part of Team GB and coached in the past three Olympic Games. In May, Andy announced that he would be leaving Plymouth to join Diving Australia as National Coach Melbourne.
Everyone Active’s contract manager in Plymouth, David Greenwood, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Alex is joining Plymouth Diving. He is a genuinely world-class coach and will be a huge asset for the team.
“Andy Banks has left Plymouth with a fantastic diving legacy, and it is essential that we continue to build on that by allowing athletes to benefit from the knowledge and experience of an outstanding mentor. I am confident that Alex is the person to fulfil this role and continue to put Plymouth Diving on the map.”
Plymouth Diving is the competitive arm of the Everyone Active Diving Training Scheme based at the Life Centre. It offers opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in the sport, from beginners through to elite athletes. The Life Centre’s diving pool is international standard, attracting top-tier athletes and making it a perfect venue for national competitions.
Kim White, British Diving’s performance manager, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have Alex as part of the Great Britain diving team and look forward to the knowledge and expertise he will bring.
“Alex has diplomas in Sport Psychology and Strength & Conditioning, together with a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Training. This, combined with his international diving experience, makes him the ideal candidate for the Head Diving Coach role in Plymouth.”
Councillor Glenn Jordan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Alex to Plymouth. This is fantastic news for our divers, who will continue to benefit from world-class coaching and expertise at a world-class venue.
“Andy is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill but Alex brings a wealth of experience at the highest level and Plymouth Diving will continue to flourish with him at the helm.
“Attracting another coach of this calibre is testament to the quality of our diving facilities and programmes here in Plymouth.”