Ok, so I got you with click-bait, kind of, but more on that later.
8 long years ago I had a crazy idea to get together some people, dress up festively and go for a Christmas dive, mainly for fun but with the hope of raising a bit of money for charity at the same time. The RNLI was the official charity of the then great Yorkshire Divers and as an active member it made sense that this was the charity I chose. That event took place, people wanted to do it again, and hence Scuba Santas was born!
Race on 7 great annual events where we’ve raised over £22,000 for charity, been covered by press all over the world, spawned Scuba Santa events all over the world, and often been quoted by divers as “the best dive of the year” (which is my favourite bit).
Over those years its also taken more and more effort to organise. By 2012 was taking 2-3 hours of effort each day as the event approached (organising started in July) mainly between organising prizes, the website, queries, and updating social media. 2012 was also the year that the event moved from Vobster Quay to the NDAC and it was especially difficult to ensure people knew that Scuba Santas had moved. During the last 8 years I’ve also done less and less diving (due to moving, more work, dive partner giving up diving… the usual) so, sadly, its not so much a part of my life any more.
In 2013 I asked around to see if anyone would like to help organise Scuba Santas with me to lessen the load and a plucky fundraiser from the DDRC raised her hand and started helping out…
Which brings me back to my headline: “Disaster strikes annual Scuba Santas event”. Well, after last year’s event I decided I wanted a break from organising and Louise and Kathryn at the DDRC said they’d take it on (kindly still working to raise money for the RNLI too). I did worry that things might go badly wrong, not because of Kathryn and Louise but, due to my messy organisation of Scuba Santas and having relied on keeping lots of information in my head…
I needn’t have worried. Louise and Kathryn are doing amazing things with Scuba Santas and 2014 looks to be an awesome year! There’s a great list of prizes and lots of communication coming out of the website and social media too. In fact they’ve only really been in touch less than a handful of times which shows how good they are at what they are doing. I’m very confident that Scuba Santas is in safe hands and bigger, better hands than mine – umm, I hope you know what I mean
So lastly I’d just like to thank everyone who has made Scuba Santas what it is, the sponsors, the teams at the NDAC and Vobster Quay, and of course all of you Scuba Santas! Let’s hope the event continues for many years to come. Merry Christmas everybody!
PS I was asked if I’d be getting back in the water again this year. I had hoped to, but due to my new found love of OTR racing I’ve done myself a bit of damage which requires knee surgery in the new year. Maybe in 2015 I’ll see you all on the 14th though.