Anyone who has enjoyed scuba diving knows the freedom experienced when you submerge and shed the weight that gravity places on us land dwellers. For people with disabilities, the experience of near weightlessness can be one of those rare opportunities to forget about having to push their wheelchair uphill or using steps. Scuba is a chance to explore a world without all the barriers. Scuba Magic is a scuba shop in Tempe. They recently conducted a demonstration of scuba diving at the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness (SpoFit) in Phoenix. On Saturday, August 22, Gary Moyer and three volunteer instructors gave eight people with various disabilities their first opportunity to enjoy the sport. Once the individuals had received proper instructions, hand signals, equipment requirements, and breathing techniques, they suited up and took a plunge into the center’s recently opened outdoor pool.

Scuba Magic has previously worked with people with disabilities. The instructors understand that no two disabilities are alike and that it is important to work with each individual based on their own abilities. Communication is the key. Once there is a trust between the trainee and the multiple instructors who are monitoring the dive, the trainee can begin to experience the magic of being underwater.

As promised from the prior Scuba demo, Megan Harden, SpoFit’s Aquatic Coordinator, also participated. In spite of her phobias, she learned the correct breathing techniques and quickly became comfortable with the equipment. She and all those who went for a swim enjoyed the experience.

Scuba Magic’s demonstration has many of the participants interested in taking the classes. If you are interested, please contact Megan about attending. Once there is four or more people, SpoFit will schedule a scuba certification class that is 16 hours long, split up into multiple days. The price for the certification class is $239 plus the purchase of a mask, snorkel, and boots. If you are interested in taking a class, please contact Megan Harden about attending. The class will take place at the SpoFit in late October to early November!