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Aberdeen BSAC 67 wins 2023 Heinke Trophy


Heinke Trophy

In a remarkable change of fortune, Northeast Scotland-based Aberdeen Sub-Aqua Club has scooped the Heinke Trophy 2023, BSAC’s premier award, just a few years after it was down to only a handful of active club divers. 

Since its introduction in 1958, the Heinke Trophy has been presented every year to the club considered to have done the most to further the interests of its members and BSAC. Along with the coveted Heinke Trophy, as 2023 winners, Aberdeen will also receive £1,000. 

Jim Burke, Aberdeen’s Chair shared: ‘There were squeals of excitement, big grins, and sighs of relief when we were informed that our club had been awarded the 2023 Heinke Trophy! This means so much to our club members and is a truly great recognition of all we have done to bring diving to more people in the Northeast of Scotland.

‘In 2019, our club was struggling.  We were down to about 20 members, and only a handful were actively diving. A few heroic members were keeping the club from going under and the outlook was not good. They attracted a small group of new, experienced members and set out a strategy to grow the club, be more diverse, do more diving, do more training, have more adventures and, most of all, have lots of fun.

‘We are so proud of what we have achieved – we are now over 100 members strong, run training at all levels, organise double figures of expeditions every year, have over 40% female membership, support a large group of under 18 divers and have a growing Diving for All (DfA) programme. 

Heinke Trophy
Aberdeen SAC members out on a dive trip

‘Our changing fortunes have all been down to the enthusiasm, engagement and hard work of the club members. We loved going through the Heinke Trophy application process, it brought the club members even closer together – with hidden talents coming to the fore in the production of the submission (who knew our membership included accomplished drafters, graphic designers and parents who were extremely good at English)!

‘It’s a great fun club, with a good story and the recognition of this, through the award of the 2023 Heinke Trophy is just the cherry on the cake – and the cash award will help us with our plans for a new club RIB.'

As well as the Heinke 2023 winners, two other BSAC clubs – Marlin and University of Nottingham – also received certificates of commendation for excellent entries.

Phil Harrison MBE, who along with fellow judges Tony Marshall and Kevin Phillips sit on the Heinke adjudication panel, congratulated Aberdeen on their success, stating: “Aberdeen was a very worthy winner among some very strong entries.

“It stood out for its 2023 activities: widespread of training, diving, and scientific projects including the identification of new wreck sites, combining all of this with great leadership and teamwork. It comes across as very active, with a great atmosphere.

“Aberdeen, Marlin and University of Nottingham all focused on increased diversity in their clubs, which was key to their individual success.”

About the Heinke Trophy

For more information on the Heinke Trophy, its past winners and guidance on submitting a future Heinke Trophy report, click here.

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Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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