School to offer scuba class

The Athletics Department will offer a weekend class in scuba diving starting third trimester, part of an effort to broaden students’ exposure to less conventional sports, organizers said. The new class, a pilot for a larger program that may begin next year, will meet Sunday from to at Zanuck Swimming Stadium starting the weekend of Feb. 24. Enrollment will be capped at eight students.

The course will be taught by an outside instructor and involve classroom sessions, diving in the pool and several ocean diving trips at Casino Point on Catalina Island. Upon completion of the course students will receive Open Water 1 certification and receive credit for a trimester of P.E.

Students interested in the class will have to fill out a questionnaire. If there is enough interest, a selection process overseen by the scuba instructor, members of the athletic department, and the deans will decide which students to include in the class.

The school is looking into renting equipment for the class, although students will likely need to provide personal items, such as goggles, Athletic Director Terrence Barnum said.

“The world underneath the ocean is so beautiful,” said organizer Rod Roddenberry ’92, who has been diving for 14 years. “It’s nice to go to a place so few humans have ever seen. It’s the next best thing to going into space.”

Roddenberry will be visiting class meetings on Jan. 24, 25 and 30 to show videos and answer questions about the new program. Roddenberry, though not qualified to teach, will also attend some of the classes to assist as a master diver.

“I haven’t been so enthused about teaching anyone anything before, so I’m really looking forward to this,” he said.

If the scuba program goes well, additional outdoor activities are a possibility. Hiking, rock climbing, and canoing have been considered as options, Barnum said.

“There is a range of outdoor activities that students participate in every day,” Barnum said. “We’re giving kids who don’t play on a team a new opportunity for P.E.”