The age limit for the PADI Open Water Course is set at 10 years old – opening the doors to the underwater world to the younger generation. The skills taught are transferable to everyday life, helping young people to grow. It also inspires a passion in many, opening up new career opportunities that may otherwise never have been considered. That was the case with 17 year-old Riley, who began his diving career with Dive HQ as a foundation student at the end of last year. We asked him a few questions to get an insight into how diving has become part of his life, and how it is shaping his future.
Diving is classified as an extreme sport – it is exhilarating, offers an awesome adrenaline rush, and also comes with its risks. However it has a characteristic that sets it aside from other sports of the extreme variety; it is accessible even to those who are quite young. PADI accommodates divers ages 10 and up onto their Junior Open Water Course, with 8 year olds being given the opportunity to enroll in a Bubblemakers confined water session. At a younger age, we have fewer inhibitions, adapt easier, and have better memory retention.
Here is what Riley had to say about the impact diving has had on his life:
Dive HQ: What made you first interested in diving?
Riley: I always was interested in diving. During the holidays I did my Open Water Course and was instantly hooked! Being a confident swimmer, it was no problem and all go.
DHQ: When did you go for your first dive?
R: I did my first dive at Lake Coleridge in December 2015, as part of my Open Water Course.
DHQ: What was your first diving experience like?
R: My first diving experience was in a pool. I was a little nervous to begin with, but when I finally relaxed and took that first breath, I was instantly hooked. It was so much fun.
DHQ: What diving qualifications have you completed so far?
DHQ: What do you like about diving?
I like everything. I like being weightless and floating upside down – it is the closest thing to being in space. I like seeing the fishes swimming around… it feels like a whole other world!
DHQ: Who has encouraged you with your diving?
Since my first dive, I’ve been encouraged by my parents, friends, and by myself.
DHQ: What experiences have shaped your learning?
Learning buoyancy skills was so much fun, I ended up floating upside down for most of the advance course! Studying – I’ve never been too confident in book work, but I still get it done.
DHQ: What would you like to do in the future within the diving industry?
I would like to do anything and everything, but after becoming an instructor, I would love to join the Police Dive Squad.
If you too are interested in becoming a diver, or wish to embark on a new adventure and turn a passion into a career, get in touch with us about our courses and our Diploma of Scuba Instruction or Foundation program.
Dive HQ Christchurch
103 Durham St South
03 379 5804