As part of an initiative to highlight scuba training and the ocean environment to Army Combined Cadet Force (CCF) units, two young people have received BSAC training scholarships.
Ash Manor CCF, based in Guildford, Surrey, have been selected by SERFCA and Divecrew to receive a scholarship with BSAC for two cadets.
Corporal (Cpl) Beth Wheeler and Lance Corporal (LCpl) Mikyle Salih will embark on a two- to three-year programme to learn to dive, progressing from entry-level Ocean Diver to Open Water Instructor. Both will become future instructors with BSAC.
Crowthorne-based BSAC Centre Divecrew will provide mentoring in the commercial diving market and an opportunity to work alongside an industry leader. BSAC are providing the courses, and Divecrew the practical training and experience. Divecrew is the UK’s only Gold Star IDC centre.
Beth and Mikyle will work their way through Ocean Diver, Sports Diver, Dive Leader followed by the Instructor Foundation Course, Open Water Instructor Course and qualification exams. At the end of their training both will be qualified Open Water Instructors with extensive experience of the recreational dive industry.
This scholarship has been offered because BSAC and Divecrew wanted to highlight scuba training and the ocean environment to CCF units, as the CCF has limited access to scuba. During their training the two scholars will report on their progress and experience to inspire other CCF cadets.
Martin Weddell of Divecrew said: “We are really pleased to work with BSAC and the CCF in facilitating these two scholarships. It is an amazing opportunity for the two cadets. We are looking forward to working with the student divers and managing their progress.”
This is a fantastic opportunity for both individuals and will give them great future carer prospects. Cpl Wheeler has already indicated that she has a keen interest in conservation and would like to dive with sharks and turtles in the future. LCpl Salih has always had an interest in diving and would also like to swim with sharks and see the different varieties of life under the water.
Cpl Wheeler said: “Throughout this experience I would like to gain confidence and learn to scuba dive. At the end of this I would love to be able to teach other people scuba diving and about the environment. Scuba diving is special as you can see the impact on wildlife and how they are coping with all of the pollution and how we can help the animals. My other interests include sports, singing and photography (which perhaps I could develop into underwater photography!)”
LCpl Salih added: “This experience is important to me because it opens a lot of future job opportunities to me and provides me with a bright future. Sea life underwater has always fascinated me. One of the many things I think makes scuba special is the general experience of making lifelong friends and also getting to view some extraordinary places many people would not get the chance to visit. [At the centre] I was greeted by the amazing staff there, who discussed the different opportunities scuba creates for me… including the different places I get to dive and skills I will acquire on this amazing adventure.”
BSAC support for CCF units
CCF units have access to grants that can subsidise the commercial costs of training and adventurous expeditions.
The BSAC SE Schools Expansion Officer can provide guidance on funding availability and it can arrange bespoke training to meet your needs. Any CCF unit interested in providing scuba training, scuba projects or overseas diving expeditions can contact Mark Paisey, BSAC Centre Adviser.