Free Adaptive Diving Certification with Thresher Aquatics
For years, the spinal cord injury has known about the therapeutic benefits of adaptive diving. The freedom of a gravity-free environment for people with physical disabilities can be life-changing, as it allows people to move in ways they could never do above water. Unfortunately, adaptive diving is not cheap.
There is however an organization in South Florida that makes adaptive diving available to all, minus equipment fees and a nominal daily fee, and that’s Thresher Aquatics. Read on to learn more about one of the best ways to try adaptive diving for those who are curious but don't want to break the bank to see if adaptive diving is for them.
Thresher Aquatics Beginnings
Founded by Wilhelmina Stanton in 2020, from the beginning Thresher Aquatics has been focused on giving people with disabilities an opportunity to try adaptive diving. "I worked in the adaptive dive industry with another national organization for many years,” says Stanton. “It began to feel as though priorities had shifted, so it was time for us to go in our own direction. My best friend Christina was one of my biggest inspirations for this new journey.”
“She (Christina) is an adaptive diver with cerebral palsy; she has been diving with me for the last 9 years and has been a lifelong friend. We wanted to create a place where making diving accessible was everyone's number one focus." Stanton is a firm believer in the amazing things adapted diving can do for people with disabilities. "Adaptive diving allows our divers to use the gravity-free realm of the water column to enhance mobility, relieve pain, improve circulation, and many other physical benefits.”
“Each diver comes away with their form of satisfaction from each dive,” she adds. “The benefits range from physical, emotional, and cognitive. Diving has tremendous confidence and a team-building aspect to it as well.” Thresher Aquatics is located in Lantana, Florida, and is also dedicated to making diving financially possible for anyone with a disability who wants to try it. “We start out in the pool with Discover Scuba Experiences so that people can give it a try and see if it is something they are interested in.”
How to Dive with Thresher
After individuals attend a Discover Scuba Experience session, Thresher will provide and pay for all of the dive training to be diving certified, as well as the costs for local and international dive trips. The only cost for participants is $20 per day which goes towards the tip for the boat crew. Thresher holds two adaptive diving training a month. Two local dive trips per month are also planned, as well as a trip to Bimini 3 times a year.
Dive trips to the Florida Keys are also possible with Thresher. The other Florida cities that offer adaptive diving training are Boynton Beach, Pompano, and West Palm Beach. If you're interested in taking part in an adaptive diving session with Thresher, you must have a medical sign-off form signed by a doctor in order to participate, you can get this form from Thresher.
What is awesome about Thresher is that they’re a completely volunteer-run organization and its volunteers are passionate and talented dive professionals. Most of their volunteers have full-time jobs and use their days off and vacation time to assist them with the program. And the volunteers have witnessed amazing therapeutic changes in the participants. "While most of us are not therapists, we have seen a lot of anecdotal benefits. Many of our participants have told us that they are pain-free while diving and for up to a week or two prior.”
If you would like to try adaptive diving with Thresher Aquatics, you can go to the website at thresheraquatics.org, email them at Wilhelmina.email@example.com, or call 561-307-8583.
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Spinal Cord Team