Your chance to take a dive

YOU can check out your adventurous side later this month by taking part in Try-a-Dive at Askeaton swimming pool.

YOU can check out your adventurous side later this month by taking part in Try-a-Dive at Askeaton swimming pool.

It could, according to Mary O’Malley of Aughinish Diving Club which is hosting the event, open up a whole world of new achievements - and an entire undersea world of delights.

All you have to do is sign up for the event. It won’t cost you anything and the club will provide the necessary gear.

“The idea is to give people a taster, to know what it is like to move and breathe under water,” Ms O’Malley explains. And, if that taster is to your liking, the club provides training for beginners, working up to a first trainee dive on St Patrick’s Day.

The minimum skill required for a trainee diver is to be able to swim at least three lengths of the pool without stopping. “The whole idea is to build up water confidence and trainees are minded throughout.

“We train for about ten weeks over the winter,” Mary continues. “We encourage all our members to come to the pool to keep up their own fitness over winter.” But it is also about improving skills, both for novices and for the well-initiated, she stresses. “It is very important and all about building skills.”

The club has about 50 members and will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. Initially, the club centred around workers at Aughinish but is now open to others. And each year, the club offers a packed programme of activities, from St Patrick’s Day on, with organised dives at least once and often twice a week. Some members are also signed up for and trained for search and recover. “We also have some very good photographers who take underwater photographs,” she reveals.

For many years the club was based at the Pallaskenry swimming pool and for the past number of years, worked out of the UL pool. But the club has now returned to its West Limerick roots and this year’s try-a-dive will take place in Askeaton pool at 7.15 on Wednesday November 27. The club is affiliated to the Underwater Council (CFT), the governing body for underwater sports. Ms O’Malley advises anybody who wants to take part in try-a-dive to email secretary@aughinishdivingclub.com or contact 087 2519367. Further details available on www.aughinishdivingclub.com