After taking part in a try-dive with High Wycombe Sub-Aqua Club the MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, has backed a call by scuba divers for more people to get involved in the sport.
On Thursday 22nd September 2016 Steve enjoyed a scuba dive in his local pool with High Wycombe SAC, a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC).
The club wich has members ranging in age from 17 to 79, has launched a recruitment drive for new members after moving their base to Wycombe’s brand new £25 million leisure centre earlier this year.
It was through the help of Steve Baker MP that the club secured the use of the modern new facility, where they even have their own equipment room which houses a state-of-the-art nitrox compressor to fill their diving tanks on-site.
During his dive Steve was joined in the water by Ian Darkin, High Wycombe SAC’s equipment officer and instructors Len Sumner & Amanda Chandler who took him through some of the club’s regular training exercises.
The MP, who has tried scuba diving before, was keen for the club to continue their activities in the town.
Following the hour-and-a-half try-dive Steve said: ‘Thank you for a hugely enjoyable try and refresher dive. You made it safe, easy and fun to get back in the water after about 20 years away.
It was a real privilege to join such a vibrant and friendly club for the evening. I would certainly recommend High Wycombe Sub Aqua Club to anyone who wants to try diving or develop their skills.
Thanks so much for having me along. I am delighted the pool was built with that deeper section for your use. I’m a great admirer of sub aqua diving for the skill, personal responsibility, teamwork and risk management it engenders.
It was a joy to dive with High Wycombe Sub-Aqua Club in a safe environment and fun atmosphere. I would recommend a try dive to anyone.‘
Mr Darkin explained High Wycombe SAC had previously held their training nights at the old Wycombe Sports Centre which closed at the end of last year after 40 years.
He said: ‘The old technology meant the old sports centre pool just wasn’t cost effective any longer.
We wanted to move to the new leisure centre but nothing was guaranteed and Steve Baker MP canvassed councillors on our behalf and as a result we are now based at the new facility.
We wanted to thank Steve Baker but also highlight what the club is all about and encourage more people to come along for a try dive.
He has dived in the past but some time ago, so his try dive is more about refreshing his diving skills. He was joined in the water by the leisure centre manager, Graham Ashby.‘
Ian Darkin said: ‘At the current time we have around 90 members but not all are actively diving.
The youngest is probably 17 while the eldest is 79. There is a real mix of people from across walks of life and it’s a really friendly and welcoming club.
We have solicitors, police officers, nurses, plumbers, labourers, even on guy who used to train fighter jet pilots, it really doesn’t matter what you do for a living, and being underwater is a real leveler – we are all the same and look after each other.
Currently only around 25% of members are female and we would like definitely like to attract more female members.
Diving perhaps has a macho image, but that isn’t right, women are made very welcome and in fact one of the two qualified instructors that took Steve Baker in the water, Amanda Chandler, is a woman.‘
High Wycombe Sub-Aqua Club meets at 9.00pm every Thursday at Wycombe Leisure Centre for training as well as meeting up two or three times a month for social events at the British Legion. The club welcomes new members aged 17 and over although younger members can join so long as they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.