SPORTS

Have you ever thought what the Mediterranean is all about?? Restaurants, beaches , boutiques, flashy cars etc …. there is so so much more – it is also dynamic and offers sports for everyone – from beginners to professionals – from children to ….my age and older!!

Over the next few weeks we will be showcasing some of the amazing sports you can take up – and make 2016 the sporting year!

This week is all about DIVING  – Scuba diving. The mediterranean offers so many wonderful spots to dive – full of life, colours and some great wreck diving – The best way to enjoy this sport to the fullest is to go to one of the many clubs along the coast – my personal spot is the Bay of Golfe Juan and the club is called Diamond Diving – (Diamond Diving) – the club is a family run club and is a PADI 5star centre – so offers courses for everyone! – the great family attitude is felt through out the dive – that is to say the welcome, and professionalism and the after dive (apero). Unlike many clubs you are not simply a number! the groups are small and well taken care of! …. and you are assured of a great dive! amazing sensation and NEW friends!

The best way is to simply come by and let them know you came from ILC for the amazing offer they have till the end of may 2016…

Here is their story:

DIAMOND DIVING : TEN YEARS NEXT YEAR!

 

In the winter of 2002/2003 I left the reception and the revolving doors of the Central Office of Information in Hercules Road, Lambeth and strolled into the dark winter chill of South London. A heady mixture of strong emotions were coursing through my veins. Above all, a great deal of relief. I’d just resigned from a well payed, secure, varied and often very interesting job managing a team of six people in the Sponsorship and Public Relations section of the UK govt’s marketing communications agency. Some people would have given a great deal to have a job like that, particularly the ongoing career prospects it offered. But I wasn’t happy. Far from it. Spending a month living on board three yachts moored in a remote bay off the tropical island of Pemba (next to Zanzibar on Tanzanian coast, East Africa) the previous October had seriously exacerbated the situation. That life changing experience put me on the path I remain on to this day by completing the PADI DiveMaster qualification to become an entry level scuba diving professional.

Come September 2003 I’d become a PADI Instructor with the Red Sea Diving College in Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt, and by April 2004 I was gainfully employed as a diving instructor with Club Sous L’Eau in St Raphael. Club Sous L’Eau has a great deal of history and is a veryFrench dive centre. So for quite a lengthy period this English Instructor with very little French felt like a fish out of water. Needless to say he learnt the language quickly (something about necessity, mother and invention in there). Two years later I’d gained some valuable experience and slogged my way through fourteen weeks of extra training to become a CMAS ** Instructor (qualified in the French system).

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In the winter of 2005/2006 Diamond Diving was formed and in the three subsequent formative years the company consisted of me, a minibus and a website. We welcomed UK groups, individuals and families, plus expats based in the area and ran trips and training courses between Nice and La Londe Les Maures in the Var. Airport transfers, dive boat bookings, dive guiding and instruction, driving, hotel bookings, admin, excursion and restaurant advice and drinking buddy were all roles handled by a rather “polyvalent” Alex.

More vehicles than boats! June 2009.

During the summer of 2008 I met a rather special young lady on a dive boat operating out of Juan Les Pins. This rather special lady is called Noemie Broglio. At the time Noemie was in training to become an Instructor. She now runs Diamond Diving with me and is the mother of our daughter, Charlize. And a great deal of what Diamond Diving is now owes an awful lot to the hard work of Noemie and the support of her family.

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For 2009 we bought our first boat, a 6.2 metre Navy Blue Valiant RIB, a Black 110 Land Rover Defender (our mobile dive centre) and ten sets of equipment. More by luck than judgement we found a home in the Vieux Port de Golfe Juan and there we remain to this day. The same year we received an Award from PADI for “Best Newcomer in France”. This cut glass Diamond (they are all like that 😉 sits proudly in the dive centre classroom to this day.

Credit : Jean-Francois Baumard

 

Many divers initiated, many divers trained, many battles with all that is typical of running a small business in the diving industry in France fought and survived, and above all many brilliant memories. A passionate, unforgiving, intense, hard, but extremely rewarding profession!

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So as 2016 comes around we have permanent premises (we own the walls) on 11 Rue des Pecheurs (just behind the mini-roundabout) , two dive boats with a maximum capacity of 16 divers, our own compressor, and a modest and equipment sales and repair/servicing operation. We remain (as far as we know) the only English owned and run dive centre in the South of France and since 2012 I am a Course Director (Instructor Trainer), the highest attainable instructor rating with PADI. So as a 5* IDC Resort we train Instructors in the PADI system as well.

 

 

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We’ll no doubt find a few ways and means of celebrating ten years in style in 2016. And above all, we hope to be able to share the fabulous dive sites of the Cap d’Antibes, Golfe Juan and Les Iles de Lerins with you at some point in the near future.