As the Managing Director for The Scuba News UK my love and passion for diving is obvious.
Apart from my editing duties, I also work with young people in schools and decided to try and collaborate the two things I love the most. Overnight my ‘Scuba in Schools’ project was born. An enriching program/activity for young people to get involved in. Something new and different as part of the school day to help create the next generation of young divers.
Scuba diving courses take abstract concepts from physics, math, and natural science and apply them to the real world and although diving is risky, most activities in life have some risk. Teaching a child or teenager to responsibly manage the risks of diving can help them to learn personal responsibility in other areas. I strongly believe that diving encourages students to care about conservation of the natural environment and that the younger people are when they begin scuba diving, the more comfortable they are likely to be with it. The more comfortable they are with it and the more they enjoy it, the more they will care about and protect the places that they can do it.
I recently worked with House Manager, Kevin Morell at Poppy Lodge Care Home on Hayling Island to deliver a ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ experience and it was hugely successful!
Working closely with Rhys Bradburn at Poppy Lodge we planned and executed the DSD program. Here’s what Rhys had to say about it:
‘Chantelle came to the house to explain the process of diving and show the boys her equipment. She explained how everything would run and what to expect. This helped with anxieties and allowed our boys to concentrate in a comfortable environment. She answered questions and ensured they were at ease.
We arrived a bit early at the center so Chantelle showed us around the dive shop. The boys were extremely interested in all the equipment and managed to try some of it on! Our Instructor was extremely friendly and the boys couldn’t contain their excitement and started asking questions about which equipment is for what etc. Safety was paramount and the skill demonstrations emphasized this.
We started off in the shallow end where the boys learned their skills and began to swim around a little. One of the boys took to it straight away and began to swim by himself enjoying the whole experience. Then it was time to go a little deeper. One of our boys went straight down and began to swim through the hoops at the bottom. Two of the other boys became really nervous and kept thinking that they could not do it. After a lot of support from their Instructor and Chantelle the boys slowly made their way down to the deep end and loved every moment of it. They started to use their hand signals to communicate and didn’t want to get out when it was time to leave. After the experience, the boys couldn’t stop talking about it all, Chantelle presented them with certificates and congratulated them on passing Discovery Scuba! The care journey home was bustling with dive talk.’
They started to use their hand signals to communicate and didn’t want to get out when it was time to leave. After the experience, the boys couldn’t stop talking about it all, Chantelle presented them with certificates and congratulated them on passing Discovery Scuba! The care journey home was bustling with dive talk.’
I want to offer this project to as many schools as I can. It is possible to organise this yourself with a local dive center, however, I realised quickly that for young people with learning difficulties or behavior problems or any other kind of learning barrier, the experience required more planning and preparation. I go out to young people and explain everything beforehand, show them dive kit, talk to them and put worries at ease.
I attend the activity with them and film them underwater to log their first experience with the underwater world and then it can be shown in school and certificates are provided. A real positive outside of the classroom learning experience.