Want to join a dive club? In this new series, we take a look at grassroots diving and find out what’s happening on the club scene in the UK and around the world…
Bangor University Sub-Aqua Club
Where is your club based?
Bangor, North Wales
Club affiliations (i.e. BSAC, PADI, SAA, etc.)
We are a PADI centre and run a range of PADI courses, but our members have qualifications from a range of different organisations from around the world.
Where and when do you meet?
We have weekly pool sessions where we run a range of different activities and training. As a university club we also have a weekly social where our members can come together as a club and we usually visit a couple of local pubs and bars. We also host a range of theme nights to really make our club stand out as we head around town.
How do you respond to the challenge of recruiting new members?
Our biggest time to recruit new members each year is at Serendipity, which is our fresher’s fair. This is a chance for us alongside all the other clubs and societies to sell ourselves to students, many of which may have just started at the university. We also run try dives at points throughout the year to keep the doors open to new members.
We run courses throughout the year for new divers and those progressing further in their diving careers. This helps us achieve a good intake of members and keeps our current members on the learning path.
As a club we also try to promote our activities widely to gather as much interest as possible, including collaborations with different clubs, societies and volunteering projects within the student’s union.
What facilities and resources does the club use/have?
We have access to a range of complete SCUBA kit for any of our members to hire when they go diving with us, including a wide selection of drysuits for our open water dives. We also have access to a RIB which we can launch from the Menai Strait for local trips or we can tow it for our trips further afield.
What sort of diving do you do, and where?
We are able to run local dives within easy reach of the university, with many beaches around Anglesey suitable for our members, as well as Vivian Dive centre in Llanberis. We’re also lucky to have the Menai Strait on our doorstep. This opens the possibility of us running drift dives within the strait itself, or taking our boat out to dive sites such as Puffin Island which has a seal colony living on it – and as the name suggests, puffins, which arrive during the summer. We also run trips further afield with visits to Capenwray; trips have also been run to Scotland.
Do you organise any club trips abroad, and if so, where?
We have our traditional trip to Hurghada in Egypt after exams in the summer. This trip is a chance for all our members to have one last trip before heading home for the summer or for some, leaving for good as they graduate from the university.
Does your club have any special interests such as conservation, special projects, etc?
We have run beach cleans as a club, as well as having several members who are also members of the university’s beach clean volunteering project. Members have also been involved with other projects such as SeaSearch and Capturing Our Coast. Many of our members have a special interest in such projects as a large proportion of our members are on degree courses within the school of ocean science.
We are also fundraising this year for Deptherapy, which runs diving programmes for injured members of the armed forces.
Does your club have any claims to fame or any particularly interesting stories… or members?
A lot of our members have a special interest in the sea and marine life, with oceanography and marine biology courses being a popular choice amongst our members. As such, there is a huge amount of knowledge shared between our members and academics within the university – although we are open to any students, not just ocean scientists!
As we are a club that is part of the student’s union, we are run a bit differently compared to the usual dive club. As we near the end of the academic year, we hold elections for committee positions, which helps sway the direction that the club is run for the year ahead. A common aim for anyone in the club would be to keep expanding our member base, keep building on our diving experience and carry on with our efforts for the environment.
Where can people find out more about your club?
The main source of any information on our club is our Facebook page, and all our activities also go on Instagram – @busac17.
Finally… if you could sum up your club in just one sentence, what would it be?
A fun and friendly club that aims to provide the best for all of our members, regardless of their background or diving ability.