Having partnered with The Deep to provide recreational diving facilities, the academic portion of our training courses takes place here - the area's latest visitor attraction. The Deep opened in March 2002, as the worlds only 'Submarium', offering visitors a chance to discover the story of the world's oceans on a dramatic journey back in time and into the future!
Our training facilities comprise a fully equipped classroom with the latest technology, including a multi-media area, ensuring that our courses are taught in an efficient and professional manner. We also possess a padded-floor area for performing practical Medic First Aid exercises in comfort. This, together with excellent refreshment and relaxation areas, with a choice of seating areas, in either the dining area or easy chairs with views over the Humber estuary, ensures our divers have a truly enjoyable experience.
THE DEEP, Hull's £45m millennium commission lottery project, has begun working in conjunction with Hull dive school Above and Below, which will now be termed The Deep Dive School. The partnership was launched at the Dive 2002 show on 12 October and was enthusiastically welcomed by the diving public.
The idea behind the partnership is to promote diving through the aquarium. All those taking courses at The Deep Dive School will be given tours around The Deep, and talks on marine life and environmental issues, driving home what diving is all about. The chief executive of The Deep explained that while they've been successful as a tourist and visitor attraction, they have also been exploring other ways f exploiting the brand.
However, The Deep Dive School will retain complete control over it's business decisions. The theory part of the PADI courses will take place at the lifelong learning centre at the aquarium and, although the two organisations are working together to promote diving, no diving can actually take place in the tanks at the aquarium due to safety regulations for divers and marine life alike. The pool sessions take place in a local swimming pool in Hull, and the open water dives at Capernwray, depending on the type of diving and weather.
DIVE school director Martin Ainsworth can see the tide turning - and his business is benefiting from a growing interest in the oceans. As director of east Hull-based Above and Below UK Ltd, Mr. Ainsworth has seen the public's passion for diving take a significant upturn in recent years. And following a link-up with Hull's multi-million pound tourist attraction The Deep last year, his business is riding on the crest of a wave. Whether it be running classes for beginners at the weekend, organising dives around the coasts for experienced divers, maintaining equipment for divers at The Deep, or even training people to the highest level of professional dive instructors, Martins life is spent in or around the water. And importantly, that's where he likes to be.
To call him a diving enthusiast is a major understatement. Diving is his passion, a passion that he is passing on to those who are members of his dive school. The link-up with Hull's submarium last October saw the launch of The Deep Dive School. Although Above and Below had been running classes for a number of years, it was the link-up with the visitor attraction which enabled Martin to raise the centre's profile and its credibility.
Now, with more than 150 members, the business is running smoothly and Martin has ambitions of spreading it across the country. As an official Professional Association of Diving Instructors course director, Martin is qualified to the very highest level. It is Martins expertise that has given the school an advantage over many others, as it is rated a five-star Instructor Development Centre. He said, "With me being a fully qualified course director it enables us to teach instructor courses, which is particularly special for Hull. We have five-star Instructor Development Centre instructor courses, so it allows us to help people make a career from diving, whether that be from teaching diving or using the skills for a particular job".
Having taught from home for a couple of years, Martin now takes classes at The Deep visitor attraction itself. However, any starters worried about diving in with the sharks can think again. All beginners are introduced gently to life in the water, at local swimming pools. Martin said, "When we start to teach people about diving we start in a swimming pool because it is an environment people feel comfortable in. We generally start in a very shallow water, but people always enjoy it because it is something they have never experienced before. The big moment for people is taking that first breath under water. It's a life changing experience".
Mr. Ainsworth has clearly been delighted with the link-up with The Deep. He said "It was the ideal partnership for ourselves and The Deep. We trained the divers who work there, and some are on our courses now. We also look after and maintain the equipment used at the centre. They get our expertise, and we get the powerful branding that comes with the centre. The fact that we are in partnership with The Deep brought extra credibility to the school".
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