Diving was once considered only accessible to those with unlimited disposable income.
But now, thanks to one Dublin club, it has become a hobby that people from all walks of life can enjoy.
The cost of entry into diving is typically considered expensive, but Dalkey Scubadivers has been striving to change this perception and thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding of €9,300, it’s become a reality.
“The grant has allowed us to offer an ease of entry into the sport and made it more accessible for all,” explains Stewie Andrews, an assisting diving officer with the club.
“With the grant, we purchased high-quality training gear so that we could rent it out to members at reasonable rates and increase an interest in diving. Now we have people from all backgrounds, nationalities and age groups joining the club.”
Stewie who has volunteered with Dalkey Scubadivers for over 30 years says there are many wonders to behold in the waters off the coast of Dublin. “Depending on the time of year you can see humpback whales, blue sharks, and porbeagle sharks. There really is a lot to see in Irish waters.”
But what surprises new divers is the vibrant array of colours underwater. “All year round you can see vivid colours - from coral to sea creatures - it’s like a garden is in full bloom all year round. It really is beautiful,” says Stewie.
These types of underwater views are not exclusive to Dublin. “We often go to the West and North West to explore other areas. Some of the most beautiful scenic dives are in the Northwest, so we like to travel there during the summer. We also like to explore the various wrecks scattered around Dublin Bay, each with its own history and colourful marine habitat.”
In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. The county winners for the first stage of this year's Good Causes awards have recently been announced. Learn more about the Good Causes Awards and the many projects all over Ireland who are helped by National Lottery Funding for Good Causes here: www.lottery.ie/good-causes-awards.