Rimbey Jr/Sr High School students get some real hands on scuba diving training Dec. 18 at the Aquaplex in Ponoka. The program is in its fifth year at the school.

Rimbey high school scuba divers train for Costa Rica trip

Rimbey junior/senior high school students have recently returned to Ponoka Aquaplex to conduct their scuba diving training

Rimbey junior/senior high school students have recently returned to Ponoka Aquaplex to conduct their scuba diving training, something they have been doing for the last five years.

Principal Tim Lekas said the optional program is a program inspired by the Eckville principal who was a dive master. The first year of the program six students took the course and training was conducted in Victoria, B.C.  But sending kids to Victoria was not the best of options. The cost was high, the water was cold and for a little bit more money, students could take a trip to Costa Rica to complete the training.

This year, they do travel to Costa Rica in March during school break to finish their scuba diving certification.

“They have to do some open-water dives to get their certification,” said Lekas.

Training the students in Ponoka has been the ideal choice: the deep pool and salt water offers kids a chance to get some serious practice in: instructors use weights and keep a close eye on students while they receive their training.

Once Costa Rica was added as a destination to the training program, the roster of the class has grown, but expanding the course may not be ideal either. Lekas feels they can handle no more than 20 kids as they would need more instructors to attend with students.

“We want to have a lot of supervisors when we’re diving,” explained Lekas.

Usually there are six to seven local divers, Lekas and two other Rimbey instructors when students get certified in open water scuba diving.

“We have a lot of experience with our 20 divers. We want it to be as a safe as possible,” he added.

Student Matthew Froehlick is working on his advanced open water certification. He has been scuba diving for two years. During the training session, Froehlick could be seen exploring every part of the deep pool at the Aquaplex. “It’s just so nice and calm under the water.”

The training they have received from master diver Denise Boniface has been a benefit to students, explained Lekas. “She instructs other dive masters.”

“Before we go in the water, Denise always prepares us really well,” added Froehlick.

She provides students with much needed skills by teaching how water pressure can affect the eardrums under water and how to equalize the pressure by plugging your nose, explained Froehlick. He has since been on a cruise with his family and used his first stage open water certification.

The experience for students is becoming memorable and Lekas said they usually talk about the training and their certification trip during graduation. He enjoys the program too. “Rimbey, I think, is the scuba diving capital of Alberta right now because probably per capita we have more divers in the community.”

More than 100 divers have been certified in the last five years, said Lekas. The school helps subsidize the program up to $1,000. Students pay $1,700, which includes all their training and the all-inclusive trip to Costa Rica.

 

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Most Read