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Hobbies and Interests

Scuba Diving - perfect sport for the over 50s


Don Mayer enjoys diving with his son and grandson. He’s 67. Sandy, a grandmother of 55 took her first dive a year ago. Chuck and Steph, aged 50 and 51, are also newcomers to this sport which is fast becoming a favourite with the over 50s. 

According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), scuba diving is the new big thing with the over 50's and one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the UK. In a recent survey, PADI found that 32% of all British divers are aged 45 or older, a statistic that is in keeping with a worldwide trend.

So it makes sense that a company called Dive Solutions is running courses specifically designed for the over 50's, the first Scuba company to do so.

What does it take to become a scuba diver? 

You need to be able to swim 200 metres and do a ten minute water tread, but you don’t need diving experience and you don’t need to be a strong swimmer All divers wear an automatically inflating jacket (Buoyancy Control Device), which acts as both a harness for the scuba tank and a floatation device enabling divers to be able to float effortlessly on the surface.

You need to be reasonably fit, but a little stiffness in the joints doesn’t matter. Beginners sign a medical form and any queries arising need referral to a GP. The only unsuitable candidates are people suffering from asthma.

How long is the training?

To gain a full diver’s licence takes about 4 to 5 training days. But even after a weekend, most learners are well on their way. Diving is always done with a partner for safety reasons, even after a licence is granted.

What does a training weekend cost?

The price is 350 per person, which includes two nights accommodation, food and equipment. Only alcohol is extra.  

Courses are held at luxury estates around London, conducted by fully qualified and experienced PADI Instructors. There are also tailor made packages, which can take place over a day or weekend, for singles, couples and larger groups.

Don Mayer - “learning to dive was easy and fun”

Don got his diving certificate in 1987 when he was 52, and his one regret is that he didn't start diving sooner. “Just think of all the wonderful sights and equally wonderful people I have missed”, he says. Don is partially paralysed in his right leg due to polio, but this in no way inhibits his diving. He enjoys diving with his son and grandson and to date has dived in many parts of the world.

Sandy  -  “lots of people don’t have a partner to dive  with…”

Sandy started diving at the age of 54, and was very proud to earn her diving licence. “It’s quite an adventure for a grandma of 4, though none of them have taken it up yet. I have dived in several places including while on a cruise ship holiday in the Caribbean. With each dive I get a bit more relaxed and confident. My husband is not a diver and due to some health problems will not be able to join me. But I have found that lots of people don't have a partner when they learn and so there are always new people for me to meet and dive with. In my limited experience divers have been kind, helpful and interesting.

Chuck and Steph - ”we just regret starting so late”

I am 50 right now. Soon to turn 51. I started 2 years ago. My wife started at the same time and she is a year older than me. We are not the best physical specimens, however we get by. We love doing all the courses I am now a Divemaster and Steph is an Advanced diver. The only thing Steph and I regret is that we started diving so late.

See more about Dive Solutions by clicking here.

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