After a campaign to find a special young person with a spirit of adventure, Immerse School of Diving have announced the 2015 Georgia Williams Diving Scholar.
Tom Edwards, aged 15 and from Wrekin College in Telford, was awarded the 2015 Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship after an arduous application process that showed his incredible passion for underwater conservation.
Tom submitted a clear application, and explained his interest for shark conservation during a lightning round of interviews with Steve Williams from the Georgia Williams Trust, Tony and Jo Flack from Immerse School of Diving, and last year’s Scholar Lois Adams and her family.
As the 2015 Georgia Williams Diving Scholar, Tom will have the chance to pursue an interest in the underwater World, and in turn to enable other young people to have access to scuba diving activities. Tom will embark on a training programme to attain the prestigious PADI Master Scuba Diver rating with Immerse School of Diving in Telford. In addition, Tom will experience a range of scuba diving experiences tailored to his interest in shark conservation, and will have a chance to meet some of the leading names within the scuba diving industry. Tom will also fulfil an advocacy role for the Trust, and will be responsible for raising awareness of the work of the Trust and its aims amongst young people in the Borough.
“When Steve announced that I was the Georgia Williams Diving Scholar for 2015, I felt an immediate adrenaline rush! I’ve wanted to get involved with marine biology for a number of years now, and Immerse School of Diving and the Georgia Williams Trust has provided a spectacular opportunity which will push me towards my dream,” says Tom Edwards.
But in a surprise moment, Steve Williams of the Trust also announced that the two runners-up in this year’s Scholarship selection would also be supported by the Trust to follow their underwater ambitions.
Through the application process Alix Tomlinson, 11 and of Crudgington Primary School, demonstrated a keen interest in learning to scuba dive which started when she saw divers returning from a dive with seals whilst on holiday. Alix was awarded a PADI Open Water Diver course to learn to dive with Immerse School of Diving.
George Ellison, 12, of Thomas Telford School, was shortlisted for the second year in the row, showing great tenacity. George has a continued interest in pursuing a career as a marine biologist, and as a qualified diver received a full set of diving equipment to allow him to dive more often and gain important diving experience with the School’s dive club, Club Immerse.
The annual Scholarship is jointly funded by The Georgia Williams Trust and Immerse School of Diving. The Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship is also supported by BBC television presenter Monty Halls and dry suit manufacturer Otter Watersports.
“We are so pleased to have not one, but three remarkable young people for this year’s Scholarship programme. Tom already has a great understanding of, and a passion for underwater conservation and a clear aim for his Scholarship year. We are excited about the amazing opportunity this presents for Tom, and believe that he will make the very most of it. For us to be help Alix become a scuba diver at only 11 years of age, and to see George take his passion for scuba diving further really is a privilege and the icing on the cake for the School and all of our divers,” said Tony Flack, Owner and Instructor, Immerse School of Diving.
For further information visit www.immersediving.com/the-georgia-williams-youth-diving-programme or contact Immerse School of Diving by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow Tom’s adventures as the 2015 Georgia Williams Diving Scholar, you can also follow his very own Facebook page here.
Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados
In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.
Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.
Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)
Introduced by Jeff Goodman
Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.
A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.
CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.
Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.
During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!
Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.
For more information about the CCMI click here.
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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