By Christopher Tauchen
Trinity’s student-run dive club has recently been awarded with a major commendation from the British Sub- Aqua Club. Their application for the Heinke Trophy, which is given annually to one of the organisation’s best local affiliates, was one of two marked for special notice by the panel of judges. This places the Dublin University Sub- Aqua Club firmly among some the of best dive clubs in the world.
“We were extremely pleased to get some more recognition for all the hard work we’ve put in,” said Caitriona McLean, the club’s Diving Officer. “What’s best of all is that BSAC consider all the clubs’ applications together, regardless of whether they’re student clubs or not.”
As a student club, DUSAC functions like any normal BSAC branch, with the exceptions that membership is limited to Trinity students, staff, and graduates, and that the club members – many of whom are students – don’t have the same kind of money to spend on expensive membership fees.
“Diving is not the cheapest hobby, by any means,” said Caitriona McLean, “but we’ve been able to organize some of the least expensive diving you’ll see. We’ve got members regularly diving in Dublin Bay for 4-5 euro, which is only the cost of petrol”.
With funding from DUCAC and the generous support of the Trinity Association and Trust, the club has been able to purchase an impressive amount of club equipment, which is available for any of the members to borrow. The club, in addition to supplying full sets of air tanks, regulators, and wetsuits, owns two of its own Rigid Inflatable Boats, several different kinds of air compressors, along with many of the tools and much of the equipment needed to service it all.
Training in the club is undertaken almost entirely by its own members. New members attend theory lectures, where they learn the fundamentals of diving, and practical sessions in the pool at the Sports Centre.
The “Novice Trip”, which is taken during Reading Week in the spring, gives new members the opportunity to dive in the ocean for the first time and to complete assessments for their first diver grade.
Those interested in joining who already have experience with other diving organisations are welcome to join as cross-overs, and will be given an equivalent BSAC qualification at the discretion of the Diving Officer.