One of the innovators and leaders in progressive scuba training, Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman last month hosted an International Association of Handicapped Divers (IAHD) cross-over training program for scuba instructors throughout the Cayman Islands. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Resort & Villas and was sponsored by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and numerous local businesses.
According to James Dudley, Director of Training at Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman and an IAHD Pro Trainer/Course Director, the growing number of physically challenged divers coming to the Cayman Islands helped underscore the need for more local professionals to know how to work with and teach these differently abled divers.
Dudley, together with Fraser Bathgate of IAHD, helped teach professionals representing staff from several dive shops on the island including Tortuga Divers by Red Sail Sports. Local Light House School children with special needs participated in the program by providing the candidates with hands on experience of working with customers of various physical challenges.
“The impression of the course and reactions from participants was gratitude and awe,” Dudley said. “Tears were shed by a number of candidates especially when everyone saw two sufferers of cerebral palsy breath underwater on scuba for the first time.” He added that the local diving community would continue to work with the Lighthouse School in future IAHD programs.
Dudley said the positive results of the program conducted in June has resulted in another training program being scheduled for later in the year.
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