Why take this course?
If you are an Ocean Diver who wants to do more, the Sports Diver course will give you the freedom to explore. Being a Sports Diver allows most people to do all the diving they want in the UK and abroad.
I wanted to be able to dive shipwrecks in the 30m range more safely, now I am confident that I could help my buddy if they were in trouble
If you already have some diving experience with an entry-level qualification and want to take your underwater adventures to the next level, Sports Diver is your next step in BSAC’s Diver Training Programme.
You will broaden your experience in a variety of challenging open-water conditions, and learn essential techniques to prepare you for diving to a maximum of 35 metres.
To enrol on a Sport Diver course you must have successfully completed an Ocean Diver course (or have equivalent certification from another recognised training agency) and be aged 12 or older, but you need to be 14 or older to progress to depths greater than 20m post qualification.
Skills that make Sports Divers stand out from the crowd include doing longer deeper dives, with decompression stops if needed.
You’ll learn how to spot if something is wrong and what to do in an emergency including self-rescue, recovery of unresponsive divers, and basic life support – these are among the most valuable skills any diver can learn.
The course includes six theory modules, a practical session on how to support a Dive Manager, a sheltered-water rescue skills session, and six open-water dives with plenty of time to practise your skills.
It’s a continually assessed course, so after your classroom and in-water training and a short theory exam, you’ll be competent to complete a series of depth progression dives – at increments of 5m – enabling you to dive down to a maximum of 35m.
What you’ll qualify to do
Qualified Sports Divers can dive buddied with another Sports Diver, in familiar locations and conditions, allowing you more freedom to explore. You can also support a Dive Manager as a competent assistant, the first step on the road to helping to organise diving within your club.
You can extend your experience by diving with someone qualified as a Dive Leader or above, under the supervision of a Dive Manager. You can also dive with an Ocean Diver, so long as you stay within conditions they have already encountered.
Your qualification will be recognised worldwide and you will be certified to use breathing gas mixtures of up to 36 per cent nitrox to increase your dive times.
What diving experiences will this open up for me?
Being competent to dive to 35m allows most divers to do all the diving they want in the UK and abroad. At these depths you can access the majority of UK wreck diving, and with Sport Diver skills you can extend your dive times safely and relax to take in your surroundings and any wildlife you encounter.
Qualifying as a Sport Diver will also enable you to take part in a wider variety of BSAC Skill Development Courses to increase your diving skills.
You can sign up to do the Sports Diver course by joining a BSAC club. Find a club
Training at your local BSAC club allows you to learn at your own pace, spreading your training sessions over several weeks. You’ll be taught by highly trained volunteer instructors and will attend club training sessions with other BSAC members.
You can get involved in social events at your club, and start building a network of friends to go diving with in future. Many clubs have access to boats, compressors, and diving kit that members can use.
You don’t need any special kit to become an Sports Diver – a swimsuit and towel should be enough, although you may soon want to buy your own mask and snorkel.
You’ll receive a training pack when you sign up, which contains all the learning materials you’ll need. We recommended you also buy a Dive Profile Red Logbook and BSAC Nitrox Decompression Tables, available from the BSAC shop.
Your next steps – developing your skills
After completing Sport Diver training and consolidating your skills, your options for diving significantly expand.
- You could learn to plan and lead dives by doing the Dive Leader course, which is the next grade in BSAC’s Diver Training Programme, and takes you further on the path to helping organise dives and expeditions within your club.
- You could develop specific skills to expand your diving interests further. There are more than 30 BSAC Skill Development Courses (SDCs) open to Sports Divers from Ice Diving or Underwater Photography, to Closed Circuit Rebreather Diver and Sports Mixed Gas Diver training.
- You could start on the road to instructing by signing up for BSAC’s Instructor Foundation Course to become an Assistant Diving Instructor.