Dive Project Cornwall, a recently formed not-for-profit company, has teamed up with diver training agency PADI in what they say is a bid to encourage more teenagers into scuba – and boost their appreciation of the underwater world.
The plan is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the marine environment among hundreds of thousands of young people through an educational programme open to all UK secondary schools.
At the heart of the concept is a competition for 400 teenagers to win a six-day sponsored trip to Cornwall. Participating schools will be asked to make a marine creature from plastic bottles and submit photos to a panel that will select winners from each of 20 areas. Twenty students from each area will then qualify to take part in the project.
The winners will “learn to scuba dive, enjoy outdoor adventures, take up beach-related activities and attend presentations from leading marine-industry experts”, say the organisers. PADI will offer Open Water Diver eLearning, with its various dive centres in Cornwall helping the teenagers to complete their in-water training to become PADI OWDs and also PADI “Torchbearer” ocean-influencers.
“Saving the ocean requires all of us to act together, and it’s crucial that we engage the younger generation in this work,” says PADI EMEA territory director Rich Somerset. “Partnering with Dive Project Cornwall enables PADI to deliver such an important project, educating young people in the UK on the far-reaching impact that local action can have.”