By: Mark Craven, Dive Safety Officer
The Tennessee Aquarium had the privilege of hosting DEMA’s Go Dive Now! pool the first weekend in June. The event was held on-site at Finley Stadium and the First Tennessee Pavilion, home of the five-time conference champion Chattanooga Football Club and the Chattanooga Market. This venue was chosen to capture the crowds from the soccer games on Saturday and the Sunday community market. The goal was to build excitement around the sport of SCUBA and advertise the aquarium’s volunteer dive program.
The Tennessee Aquarium has 185 volunteer SCUBA divers who work in six-person teams, 363 days per year, to help clean and maintain exhibits, feed animals, and deliver live education programs while underwater. These divers come from a myriad of professional backgrounds and a wide range of ages. More than half of the divers travel a considerable distance to take advantage of the volunteer SCUBA program at the Aquarium. This has created a dynamic that makes it difficult to fill last-minute cancelations and cover periods of winter weather conditions which make driving in the south difficult.
Working with “Big Wave” Dave Reidenbach, the Go Dive Now! Tour Coordinator, was a pleasure. Logistics were super easy and the aquarium was able to enlist sponsorship from the local water utility and the city fire department to help fill the pool. Current volunteer divers staffed the two-day event and had a great time introducing approximately 125 people to SCUBA. We were also able to collect approximately 50 names from local certified divers who were interested in the volunteer program. We did experience some thunderstorms throughout the weekend that limited our numbers, but are pleased with the event. I would highly recommend considering this perk of our ADPA – DEMA relationship. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about hosting the Go Dive Now! pool and Dave Reidenbach can be reached at: email@example.com.