At the end of every year we find ourselves reflecting on “Perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten or drank so much?!”…. and what went well (and not so well) in 2022.
Thankfully for Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club the year 2022 has been one of the most successful years we have had in regards to club training and dive trips. We have also invested in the clubhouse and our RHIB, Sea King.
Trips abroad to Spain, Malta and the Red Sea (finally!) came close together, partly due to prior COVID postponements, and there were also UK trips to Lundy and the Farne Islands and our usual dives from Portland, Plymouth, Newhaven, Swanage, Eastbourne, some of which we visited multiple times.
Training and Membership 2023
Kingston and Elmbridge has seen its biggest growth in members in recent years, now almost totalling 100. We have maintained this number for the last few years as people came out of lockdown, refocused and were ready to get back to socialising, trying new sports and seeing the world – not just from an armchair!
But as any BSAC club knows, growth is maintained and built upon through an active and full diver training programme, coupled with actually going diving.
For our then Training Officer, Nick Sims, there were many challenges coming out of COVID to get a training programme underway and to meet the huge latent demand from new joiners and existing members who wanted to get their diver training underway again. Nick, who picks up a new role in 2023 as Diving Officer, has left a legacy of some incredibly high training statistics of diver grade training undertaken, qualifications earned, SDCs run in-house and support given to our newly qualified instructors. Thanks to Nick for his tremendous efforts in coordinating and encouraging new and existing members in their training and skills development.
Of course Nick didn’t do it all on his own, he had great support from Craig Daniel (former Diving Officer) and by building an active and enthusiastic team of new and existing instructors, who have been able to deliver 44 new diver grades in the club and 30 skills development course qualifications in just one year!
Building a strong base of active instructors not only makes our club an exciting place to learn, but has allowed us to move on divers who hadn’t progressed their training in a while so they could achieve high grades, meeting goals they may not have expected they could attain. In doing so it has enabled them to take on active roles in the club, whether taking new instructor qualifications and also having the confidence to organise trips themselves.
If you are interested in learning to dive, or you are a diver who has already qualified through another agency background who perhaps wants to further their diver training or just enjoy friendly club diving, then please get in touch with us through our Contact Us page.
Diver Training in 2022
|First Class Diver||1||CD|
|Advanced Diver||2||NS, JW|
|Dive Leader||6||AS, DB, NT, LC, SA, LC|
|Sports Diver||12||MC, TB, GD, SW, RS, GE, ID, AM, ZB, DS, SE, FG|
|Ocean Diver||14||FG, OM, JC, PK, DK, MJ, GJ, JT, JM, SE, MB, DS, MM, JW|
|Open Water Instructor||4||NS, DB, SH, BM|
|Assistant Instructors||5||NT, DB, RS, GE, TB, EC|
|Total Diver Qualifications||44|
|Practical Rescue Management (PRM)||5|
|Accelerated Decompression Procedures (ADP)||3|
|Chartwork & Positioning||10|
|Mixed Gas Blending||5|
|SDC Total Students||30|
We have been able to invest in the club this year, and our Buildings Officer, Ian Angus managed the building of an additional classroom within our clubhouse. Not only does this new room provide the opportunity to teach different diver grade theory on the same night, but it has allowed us to shift our expanding range of scuba equipment into a bigger room, laid out in a much more practical manner.
It’s not all about the diving! The benefit of being a club has allowed us to hold a number of social events over the year, from two club bbqs, the annual dinner dance, a talk on Scapa Flow, visit to the Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and of course our Christmas Party at the clubhouse.
Our newest event came at the end of the year, a Christmas Pool party – where lots of members got put into teams and took part in relay races that built upon diving skills such as sign language (official and not so official) trim and buoyancy, lifting bags and a bit of search and find with some mental maths included!
We bade farewell to our second RIB, Britvic, to her new home on the Isle of Wight with BSAC 0807 Wight Dolphins. The RIB was donated by the branch as we weren’t able to use a second boat, so through contacts we found another branch willing to make Britvic seaworthy once more. We look forward to meeting up with Wight Dolphins once they have finished repairs and upgrades to Britvic and to bring along our other RIB, Sea King, to go diving off the Isle of Wight.
Every November Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club holds our Annual General Meeting, where the committee is elected for the coming year. This year we say goodbye and thank you to some long serving committee members and welcome new ones in. We always encourage new faces on the committee, bringing new ideas and suggestions.
|Building Officer||tbc||Ian Angus|
|Recruitment and Retention Officer||Nathan||Debbie|
|Marketing and Website||Thomas||Nathan|
All other committee members remain the same, click here to see all positions.
2023 is looking to be another exciting year full of training, holiday and weekends away….and for the lucky few retired mid week diving too!
We have already started our Advance Diver course, Sports Diver starting in February, Ocean Divers courses have started, try dives keep coming (groups – scouts, and individuals). Dry Dives at Whipps Cross Hyperbaric Chamber with LHM Healthcare at have taken place with more to come. Mixed Gas course also just starting and we have only made it to January!
If you are already a diver looking to join a club, advance your training or you are wanting to learn and find out what it’s like to be floating free, exploring an underwater world that only a few get to see first hand, come join Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club – open to all divers from any agency.