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Having just read strings post and ensuing replys it seems they are on the way to have similar problems to Nottingham,

last year we had 60 (yes count em) novices, of last year only 6 are now OD and mostly as they got signed up on hols in Islay. Most people do the pool training and then we never see them again.


Unfortunately we're not really allowed to limit numbers under the uni "sport for all" thing and risk loosing some of our grant and membership money. As a uni club money is already very tight (and a good laugh for all you old folks we were still using ABLJs until v v recently for open water training.)

I qualified a OD this time last year and still havn't got to do my SD open water lessons, in this time I've also passed the DL theory!

We do have a real lack of instructors and almost all are "grown -ups" with real jobs and v limited time or have moved out of the area and so are only seen on trips.

Of course doesn't help that we live miles from the sea.

What experience have other people had of training in uni clubs and what ways have you found of trying to make it more efficent ie not, I would say wasting but I know someone'll shout at me for it, so using time on people who never get into the club and only ever complete pool training.


 

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We just never managed to recruit enough members for it to be a problem
 

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Hi Mary, I don't think I've noticed you post before. I haven't read Strings post yet but here's my experience of Uni Branch diving/training following my past stints as Chairman for 2 years, TO for one year and DO for about 5 months:  It's one huge ballache!!

firstly the AU were always trying to stop this or that, too much to tell and frankly quite boring
As far as training, we used to limit intake to 30-35 but had systems to accelerate "natural wastage" which may be of some use. If we could get 5 or 6 to CD/OD after a year , that was counted as a success, so you're in  a similar boat.
here's some of those methods to sort the wheat from the chaff and reduce the testicle pain quotient

1) impose strict attendance for lectures, miss 3 and you're back to scratch
2) make sure you emphasise hoe cold dark and dangerous UK waters are
3) Regularly highlight the very real possibility of death in scuba (I used to manage to get a death reference into every lecture)
4) insist that people buy MSF  & Weightbelt before venturing into the open water
5) If you can manage to do lectures and club meetings on whatever passes for "Student night" in your town, just watch the numbers fall. It took me a while to work out why trainees came to the lecture (in a large unheated room) wearing clubbing clothes.
6) insist that if trainees want to sign up for diving and training trips they must attend the pub session which follows the lectures, no booking via e-mail of leaving notes in pigeon holes

Think that's about it for now, I could probably think up more along those lines
AS for being short on instructors, well I don't know what your situation is but I chucked the DO job when it got too much of a pain due to a small clique of "power junkie" instructors which made the environment really unappealing, so maybe try to advertise more widely for instructors. I occasionally offer my services to my old club but it's such a clique they would rather keep it between theirselves, hence trainees lose out.
If you ever bring your trainees up north (I'm based on Tyneside) don't be afraid to gimme a holler
Chee-az
Steve (BSAC OWI)
a.k.a. Dr Evil before anyone says my wastage methods are really mean


PS: forgot to mention, contact your Regional Coach, Area Coaches etc etc to ask for more instructor assistance, they sometimes tend to keep a bit of a hands-off approach because of the issues of club politics etc
 

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7) Mention that the second biggest shark in the world regularly appears in British waters (they don't have to know it has no teeth)

8) Buy a bunch of very second hand wetsuits. Insist everybody wears them for the pool sessions

9) Take them to an open water site (ie a muddy puddle somewhere - they're everywhere) and have them go snorkelling. Tell them that they now know what UK diving is like.

10) Take them along on a Stoney Cove weekend trip to watch you dive. In November. With the obligatory "Wake up at 5, queue up for ages, stand around shivering while we dive, go to the pub and stay till closing time, then up at 5 again" stuff...
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Aug. 12 2003,09:45)]too much of a pain due to a small clique of "power junkie" instructors which made the environment really unappealing,
MSF?

Let's just say there are certain individuals who like the controlling influence. Had a great diver join, AI etc, haven't seen to much of her as she got fed up with the boys posturing, if I ever get a car capable of towing the boats they I'm going to have a lesson or two on reversing rather than let the boys all shout at me as "they know best..."


thanks for the thoughts we shall try implementing them, ohh and just looked at my log book and it's 2!! years since my CD (45odd dives).  
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Aug. 12 2003,11:01)]11) Ensure first club open-water training weekend is at Wastwater in February
Cutting of my nose to spite my face when stoney is only 30mins away but I'm sure we can do the Feb thing.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mary @ Aug. 13 2003,07:06)]MSF?
MSF = Mask, Snorkel & Fins

Another thing I've tried to instill in trainees, after so many instances of "Oh no I've forgotten my..." once you're at the dive site, is the patented StevieW  10-point essential kit checklist:

1,2,3: MSF which are the "basic equipment"
4,5,6: Hood, suits (under and over) and gloves, these are all items of clothing
7, 8,9: Tank BC regs, collectively these items are defined as "the aqualung"
10: weights

Anything else for a trainee is optional and won't cause their day to be ruined
It's simple, logical and faster to run thru than the "mentally dressing yourself" approach.
HTH
Steve
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Mary

I would suggest you get in touch with your Regional Area Coach, they may be able to help you with instructors from local clubs.  A couple of years ago when I was involved with the NW region we visited both Manchester clubs to see what help they needed.

I think it's a problem for most Uni clubs, give them a try.

Fiona
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Thanks for the info, btw they already have to buy MSF (and boots too!)  
 
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