Oonagh Whitsitt

Gold Medal winner at the 1930 Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada


At the 1930 Empire Games she finished first in the 3m diving, ahead of two Canadian girls - Doris Ogilvie and Mollie Bailey. There was no 1m event, and she did not compete in the 10m tower diving competition.
Oonagh Eleanor Allison Whitsitt was born in Durban on 1st May, 1910, and became a Natal diver, whose father was the Chief Constable of the province. She later married Edward Shaw, who was to become Mayor of Durban, and had a daughter Clodagh. She was a member of the Cygnus Amateur Swimming Club.

She was one of three divers who represented Natal at the 1926 South African swimming and diving championships,where she finished out of the medals. In 1927 she finished second behind Marjorie Harris. This result as repeated in 1928, and in 1929 she won the title for the first time. In 1929 she was also a member of the Natal women's relay team, partnering with Olympic medallist Kathleen Russel and Muriel Ensore-Smth, to win the South African championship event.

At the 1930 SA diving championships in Bloemfontein Oonagh Whitsitt again beat Mrs. Doods Bulley into second place with a 'wonderful running swallow dive'.

In 1934 she competed at the Commonwealth Games in London.

Today Oonagh is remembered by the presentation of the Oonagh Whitsitt Cup to the winner of the women's 1m diving champion at the South African diving championships. 
 
In the Durban suburb of Stamford Hill, there is a municipal swimming pool named in her honour. 

On August 7th, 1934 Oonagh Whitsitt finished 5th in the springboard diving at the Commonwealth Games held in London.