The Courage to take a Dive
On the 4th of November, 27 Wellingtonians and staff departed for the Philippines to take part in the second Scuba Diving trip the College has offered. After months of hard work in the pool and studying theory at home the pupils were ready to have their first Open Water Diving experience.
Courage – one of Wellington’s core values, can be found in almost every aspect of life, whether it is giving an answer in front of a full maths class, or taking the stage for a solo performance it is a crucial part of being a Wellingtonian. Open Water Diving is without doubt an extremely courageous activity for anyone, this trip urged our pupils to get outside of their comfort zones and to take on challenges which may at first seem daunting or even downright impossible. For some of our younger pupils who were traveling overseas on their own for the first time, even just leaving their parents at home and heading to the airport was already evidence of how the College’s strong value system has given them the support to try something new.
Throughout the trip the Wellingtonians showed great courage while working towards their accreditation as ‘Open Water Divers’.
It’s one thing to remove your mask in the warm College swimming pool where the surface in just a few centimeters above you, but when you are 10 meters down in the Pacific Ocean with Barracuda and Jellyfish swimming around you, this seemingly simple action requires a Wellingtonian level of courage which we can all aspire to.
This was our second trip to the Philippines and the most successful with all of the participants gaining their ‘Open Water Diver’ certificates as well as a returning group of pupils (who went on the first trip) coming back to complete their ‘Advanced Open Water Diver’ training. The ‘Advanced Open Water Diver’ certificate involves a deep dive and a night dive which is a feat only for those with a strong sense of adventure and a willingness to face one's fears.
It is not just in deep sea dives and travels abroad where Wellingtonians show how courageous they are in sport; each day sees examples of bravery and courage from the swimming too to the cricket pitch.
From our pre-nursery children who have never seen a swimming pool before taking their first tentative steps into the water, or that first crunching tackle on the rugby pitch against someone much bigger than you, the core value is everywhere in the College. Every day in their sports lessons Wellingtonians are encouraged to try new things, embrace the unknown and show real, everyday courage.
This is why Courage is one of our Five Core Values.
There will be more opportunities for Wellingtonians to participate in Scuba diving as the trip to the Philippines will be an annual event. More information will be released closer to the date.
Shane Hambling is a Swimming Coach and House Master in the Prep School at Wellington College. Shane holds swim teaching qualifications from the STA in the UK as well as ASCA coaching certificates from the USA. Shane has taught swimming previously in China at Wellington College Tianjin as well as in the UK and Qatar. He passionately believes that swimming is a skill for life and that all Wellingtonians should prepare themselves for a lifetime of swimming, whether that is in a competitive swimming environment, playing water based games, swimming on holiday or just using the pool for general fitness. All things aquatic are of interest to Shane, teaching basic swim technique to our younger students as well as coaching our swim squad and accompanying our pupils on their scuba trips.