A Telford schoolboy is making ‘bubbles’ in the world of Scuba Diving after becoming the youngest person to be awarded a Junior Open water scuba Diving scholarship from a local charity.
Eddie Smallman, 10, from Lawley, has been named as the latest recipient of the Georgia Williams Trust Junior Open Water Scuba Diving Scholarship and now has his sights firmly on diving as he holidays and travels and also dreams of following a career in the profession.
The scholarship, run by the trust and Immerse School of Diving based in Telford, has resulted in Eddie gaining the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) Junior Open Water Diver certification – a course only available to youngsters from the age of 10.
The trust was set up in memory of Telford teenager Georgia Williams and the scholarship was launched because scuba diving featured high on her wish-list at the time of her death.
The Lawley Primary School pupil has spent the last eight Friday evenings with Immerse at the Wrekin College swimming pool. Before completing four open water dives over the following two Sundays, in one of the first Scuba Diving Quarries to be manned in the UK.
Pete Vickers, owner of Immerse School of Diving and one of Eddie’s instructors, said: “The PADI Junior Open water diver course is no different to the PADI Open Water Diver course offered to adults, except for the depth restriction that comes with junior divers, so it was imperative that Eddie and his family understood what was involved – the same theory, practical skills and water survival skills needed to be completed.
“Eddie applied himself each and every week to the theory and to the work in the pool before successfully completing his four open water dives at Dosthill Quarry in Tamworth.
“Eddie was away for one week during the course, which meant in order to finish the course as scheduled, a referral day had to be completed whilst on holiday at another PADI dive centre. This included theory, practical and tests too!
“He should be very proud of himself. He is a great ambassador for the Georgia Williams Trust and Immerse School of Diving and I know he is already looking forward to diving around the world!”
Lynette Williams, Georgia’s mum who set up the charity in her daughter’s name, said: “Eddie was so eager to do his PADI Junior Open water Diver course with Immerse school of diving, I know he did a number of Bubblemaker experiences and try dives until he was old enough to do it and then as soon as he was 10 he applied to the charity”
“It has been great to watch his scuba journey and we know he will create so many memories in Georgia’s name. It was lovely to see a former charity scuba scholar, Alix, also be at the side of the water encouraging and supporting Eddie doing his open water dives. We will have a team of Georgia Williams Trust divers in the near future!”
Kirsty Smallman, Eddie’s mum, said: “We would like to thank the charity for funding Eddie’s scuba course and thanks also go to Pete and the team at Immerse for their encouragement and amazing instruction which gave Eddie the confidence both with the theory work and practical tasks.
“He’s definitely got the bug for diving now and has already been searching for careers where he can dive!”