For Thistle’s Bob Sewell has just been given the Wilkinson’s Sword award after surfacing to the top of the country’s list of instructors.
Bob is able to say his is the name on the UK’s finest instructor’s certificate after achieving more merits than anyone else in the examination run by the British Sub Aqua Club.
The Thistle Divers Club has been going for over 40 years. Originally it was based at the old pool in Kirkintilloch, but migrated across to Kilsyth when the Kirkintilloch pool was demolished.
However it serves a wider catchment area with members also coming to the club from Cumbernauld, Bishopbriggs, Falkirk and Glasgow.
Although scuba diving is regarded as a competitive sport in some European countries, British clubs such as Thistle operate on the basis that it is a recreational sport, or more of a hobby.
Club chairperson Anne Peck explained: “It’s a sport where we work with marine conservation people, we work with research, we do surveys, we can take people out.
“It’s really a hobby that you can do some good for the community with regards to the environment.”
Club meetings are held at Kilsyth on a Monday from 8.30pm.
Anne said: “We can teach people to snorkel as well, so we’ve had some young people coming to learn snorkelling but we will teach young people aged 15 upwards to learn to scuba, as long as there’s a guardian or a parent with them.
“We’ve got all the equipment they need. They start off with theory lessons and pool lessons and once they’ve done all that we take them into sheltered open water and we do lessons with assessments in the sheltered water.
“We can take people out in our boat and they do diving on wrecks, on reefs so there’s a wide variety of things that you can get into once you learn to scuba dive.
“I like taking underwater photography, so we do that - or maybe videography. It all depends what you want to do, some people just want to go diving.”
“If anyone’s interested in coming along to the pool to do a try dive, or if they’re thinking about learning to dive, give us a call.”
For further information contact Rob Sewell on 07717 502787.