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Simon in the pool Just 5 minutes more - and I will have been underwater for 5 minutes!!!


Tony and Simon

All tanked up - Tony (the instructor) and Simon prepare to get into the water

Tony is a PADI diving instructor. This summer he decided to start a diving club where he works. So the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability Diving Club was born.

First came the members (us) and then a PADI Open Water course to get us started... The rest - well that's history.


One small step for a Speech Therapist, one giant stride for Catherine.

Catherine was not only the first to pass the course but the first of us to go on a diving holiday, with her partner, in the Red Sea. We are all very jealous!



Smile please - Pam with her new camera.


Catherine and Linda Resting - Catherine and Linda about to start a training dive

Our final qualifying dive was at the Naval Diving centre at Horsea Island near Portsmouth. It is a huge salt water lake originally built to test torpedoes.

Tony and Linda gear up while Coco keeps chatting up the Divemaster
I'm ready at last. Just the final Buddy checks with Pam.
... last one in's a ...?


Coco's first thoughts on diving

Coco in the pool

Diving with Tony Houston through the RHN Diving Club has been an experience which has thrown me through some mixed emotions. I was so excited I was going to do something I had always wanted to do. Tony starting the club at work made access to this sport easier. The initial reading brought it home how important all the background knowledge was going to be.

The first practical dive in a swimming pool was exciting, but scary too. Donning strange equipment had its funny side, especially the first entry into the water, not a graceful affair! Trying to stay vertical in the water was a challenge in itself, not realising all the techniques of remaining buoyant!

At times the exhaustion and cold has been overwhelming, and I would wonder if I could continue, but then I would feel all the more determined to continue and succeed, especially as my partner was on the same course, and we have plans to go diving together.

One very beneficial part of joining the club has been meeting different members of staff in the hospital, people you may never otherwise meet. There has been lots of laughter at ourselves and each other, which has been really good for all of us, and a lot of support for each other.

Then on one of the last dives of the course, encountering jelly fish in the Solent made me realise the magic of underwater life, and being able to breathe and swim below the surface with ease was why I was learning to Scuba Dive.


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