Six students and a teacher have become qualified PADI open water divers after completing a co-curricular scuba diving course through ACG Sunderland.
The school worked with Auckland Scuba Dive Centre to offer the course to senior students in preparation for next year’s school trip to South Africa, which will include a week of scuba diving off the country’s east coast.
Junheng (David) Li, Year 11, said the course had given him an amazing new skill as well as unforgettable memories – from being within touching distance of fish at Goat Island marine reserve to experiencing breathing underwater.
“After going through a book of theory and a couple of weekends of hard work, everyone was pretty tired, but satisfied, after an amazing experience. As they say in the book, scuba diving is a skill as well as an experience.”
It is the first time the school has ever offered a scuba diving option, which consists of theoretical and practical training at school, an aquatics centre, and at Goat Island marine reserve.
“I opened it up to any students interested in learning to dive, not just those going to South Africa,” explained Faculty Coordinator for Secondary Science, Teresa Barlow. “The skills they learned through the course – communication, technical skills, environmental awareness, health and safety – are invaluable, not just for scuba diving.”
The students who gained the internationally recognised PADI certificate are now qualified to dive to 18 metres in any country.
Ms Barlow said the qualification opens the door to many career and recreational opportunities for students, as well as deepening their understanding of physics in action and the biology, biodiversity and eco