Written by Club Member: Rick Smith
After spending Friday & Saturday at the National Watersports Festival it was an even earlier start to our Sunday morning waiting at the gates to the Rutland Show just before 6am as we had to be set up and the vehicles off site by 7am!
Tracey, Paul, Alan and myself made short work offloading the van of everything required for the day to allow Paul to get off and up to the NWF before starting on the merchandising to get the Dive Rutland brand out there. Once all of the flags, banners posters and boards were out it was then time to fill the tables, rails and gondola with stock ready for the show gates to open.
Due to Scuba Steve being up at the NWF showcasing the new range of triathlon gear that is now available from the shop we had Scuba Sarah modelling a rather fetching Purple piped neoprene number with a matching mask for us, although she did not look impressed with Sam Adcock’s manakin challenge when he and Tracey joined us later in the day.
Soon the crowds were milling around with plenty of interest from the passing public, some were interested in the discover scuba competition and booked up for a future date, others in open water courses both full and referral, also qualified divers that were interested in joining a local active friendly club (we ticked all of those boxes) and we even managed to sell a few mask & snorkel sets too.
Plenty of conversations were had by Tracey, Alan and myself in the morning and then John, Alan and myself in the afternoon regarding the details/complexities of the courses and how we tailor the courses around each individual rather than the fast-paced production line we have all seen elsewhere. People seemed to be really impressed by this approach.
A great day with the weather holding off just long enough for the show to finish, let us get everything packed away and then back to the shop to unload. The only thing I found amazing during the day was how many people mentioned that they “didn’t even know we existed” but we soon put that right.
Just leaves me to rinse and dry all my dive gear now before sitting down with a well-deserved cold one but looking forward to the 2018 show already, who’s coming to join us???
Blog entry written by Rachel Perry - Dive Rutland MSDT
Back at the beginning of the year in one of the Club Newsletters about individual setting and achieving personal diving objectives, Tracey Roberts one of our Staff Instructors stated hers was to become a Disability Diving Instructor and I decided to join her.
We currently train a couple of twins with Cerebral Palsy so it is a good opportunity to progress our skills and gain a better understanding of disabled diving and to assist with helping them achieve their full potential and experience what we do overtime we go diving.
Prior to the course we were sent an online copy of the Instructor manual to read through. The weekend started off with us rocking up at stoney at 7pm Friday for lectures, where we were introduced to our Course Directors Duncan Brown and Jim Buntin and also our fellow course student,Denise. Introductions complete we started with our shiny new paper manuals. And the course commenced
Saturday saw us back for 9am (after finishing at 22:00 the night before) with most of the day spent learning about the various illness and conditions that make some one 'less abled'. As well as HSA standards and procedures. It was heart rendering at times... but we finished with a couple of hours in the pool, where it got 'interesting'.
The 3 of us had to undertake each role in a role play scenario-
Blind Diver/Paraplegic/quadriplegic and of course, the instructor.
So out comes the black out mask and the leg and arm ties!
Firstly I was the Blind Diver and Tracey was the instructor, with Denise as a Paraplegic. Very unnerving having all your trust and faith in the sighted members of the group as I giant strided into the water (with a squeal - I might add!)...hoping they had pointed me in the right direction!
All the other senses takeover as you immerse under the water and get led around.
Then as I become the, now sighted, assistant, Denise becomes a Quadriplegic... This involves the instructor doing everything for the diver and the assistant providing the stability for the diver... Although upon them completing a reg clear and the instructor (Tracey) putting he had up to 'high five' the student a well done... suddenly realising that the 'student' could not respond', causing all of us to laugh as it dawned on us that they were gonna be 'left hanging' on that one. The realisation hits that it's one of the things we take for granted in 'normal' pool activities.
After we had all completed all roles it was time to head home for a much needed rest!
Sunday and our Final day! 9 am and we started with the Exam! 2 hours later and on a gloriously sunny day - actually the hottest day of the year! it was time to go diving!!! and there we were donning drysuits and heading to the quayside!
So this time, it was me to be instructor 1st with a blind Tracey and a paraplegic Denise!
1st into the water was the Para diver and after Tactile signals discussed, we kitted Tracey up (blind throughout) and got her into the water and off we go!
Tracey knew she had 'seen' the metal bench and the Nautillus as she did this by feel, then Tracey became my sighted assistant and Denise my quad diver. Having to clear ears and 100% control another diver is hard work but very rewarding! especially when the assessor is impressed with handling skills!
Next up, my turn to be blind...blindfolded on land and kitted up, the sighted surface cover (who works in this field all the time may I add) asked me a normally very simple question... Queue the quote of the day...
Jim:"Rach, which fins are yours?" "
Rach:"Blue atomics...or so I'm told...I haven't seen them!" which as,those who know me, would say that was very quick for me! Haha! Followed by group laughter again, in the way of realisation that you really do have to think through each event!
So, after we had all switched roles and discovered just an insight into how hard it is to control your body when you don't have control over your limbs etc, it was time for a well deserved visit to the pub for our congratulations hand shakes!!! YAY!!!! The 3 of us had passed and are now HSA qualified instructors - Congratulations to us!
Massive thanks have to go to our course directors Duncan Brown and Jim Buntin.
All in all, a good weekend had by all - long, intense at time but VERY rewarding... watch our website as we integrate disabled diving more and more.
We are pleased to announce that Dive Rutland has been formally recognised and approved as a PADI Approved Youth Training Centre.
What does that mean? It means that we have been recognised as a PADI facility that can specifically meet the needs of young people, schools and youth groups and have been able to evidence our high standard of training as well as having all of the relevant policies and procedures in place from safeguarding to staff training.
For those that know us, this will not come as a surprise as we have a very active junior section from Bubblemakers to Junior Rescue Divers and for a number of years we have been running extra circular activities for schools within our region, but is always nice to be recognised for the hard work that has been ongoing behind the scenes.
If you are a school or youth group and are interested in what we could potentially offer for you, then please get in touch and ask for our Youth Pack.
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE