Support through Sport UK's Helen Keeling spoke to Chris Barker about Dive Ability ...
 
Hello Chris. What are the aims of Dive Ability?
 
Our aim is to help people less fortunate than ourselves get more out of life through facilitating their being able to participate in a sport which they might otherwise think they would never have the chance  to do.

Does Dive Ability have a motto?
 
Dive Ability has the motto: Breaking Barriers with Bubbles.
 
Can you tell us why scuba diving is such a good way to break down those barriers?
 
Diving is a very social sport as it is not competitive, so it opens up new friendships as well. Additionally, diving can be very therapeutic, especially the feeling of 'weightlessness' that you get when you are 'neutrally bouyant'. For someone who spends a lot of time stuck in a wheelchair, for example, that can be a tremendous release from the bonds of gravity.
 
Does Dive Ability offer both pool sessions and the chance to dive in more exotic locations overseas?
 
Dive Ability organises holidays abroad where we have a mix of both able and less able bodied divers. Nobody gets a free holiday out of it, both the volunteers and the divers with disabilities have to pay for their  trip, but it does mean that the less able bodied have help through airports etc. and dive with people they know and trust.
 
If anyone reading this is interested in having a go at diving, where can they find out more?
 
If anyone wants to have a go at scuba diving they can get in touch with our Diving Officer, Andy Woods, and arrange a pool session. All the contact details are on our website.
 
If anyone would like to volunteer with Dive Ability, where can they find out more?
 
We are always looking for more volunteers, especially if they are already a diver, and, again, anyone wishing to get involved should contact Andy and arrange to come to a pool session.
 
Many thanks, Chris, and I can't wait to come and dive with you all this summer!
 
Check out Dive Ability's film:
 
 
Club: Dive Ability
Website: ww.diveability.com
Contact: Andy Woods; trydives@btinternet.com
Brief Description: We started as a club which helped people with disabilities to learn to scuba dive as well as teaching able bodied people to dive, and have now become a registered charity. We meet for pool sessions (try dives) every second Saturday each month at Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton (near Odiham) in Hampshire. We also arrange group diving holidays, where we have a mix of able bodied divers and divers with disabilities. We take both able bodied and people with disabilities, as we believe it helps to integrate divers of all abilities. Check out our website for more details: www.diveability.com We believe in 'Breaking Down Barriers With Bubbles'. If you fancy a try dive in the pool, contact our diving officer: Andy Woods on: 07721890058 and book a try dive with us. NB: Please advise Andy of your level of disability, as he will need to make sure we have the appropriate number of helpers plus the instructor in order to properly look after you. We have a hoist to lift wheelchair users from their chair to the pool and the poolside is accessible to wheelchairs. During the session, volunteer instructors and helpers will teach you the basics of Scuba Diving and then let you experience swimming underwater and becoming effectively weightless as we make you 'neutrally bouyant'. We supply all the diving equipment for the session, all you need to bring is swimming gear and a towel etc. We actively encourage family members / carers to have a go as well, as it means that it can be a family activity.