If scuba is not a popular activity in your area due to location, you may think offering scuba lessons is irrelevant, but the University Recreation department at Louisiana State University (LSU UREC), has successfully been offering different scuba formats to patrons since March 2019.
Troy Lukas, the assistant director of aquatics at LSU UREC, takes advantage of the intentional design of their outdoor space that includes deep water to be able to host programs such as lifeguard and scuba certifications.
Other than expanding aquatics offerings, scuba has benefited LSU UREC in a number of ways. “A primary goal of our division is to provide quality programs that enhance access for students at LSU, so to have the ability to offer a lifelong activity that is convenient and affordable for them also supports our goals as a department,” explained Lukas. “We’re enhancing the student experience beyond the classroom and creating opportunities for them to take advantage of to make the most of their time at school.”To offer scuba, departments need both classroom and pool space that meets the requirements, equipment to accommodate all participant sizes and an accredited scuba provider to lead the course. “It also helps to have a main program administrator to organize schedules and provide guidance for all parties involved,” said Lukas. “We have an amazing partnership with a local dive team that supports our program and collaborates with us to ensure all needs are met.”
If scuba would be a new offering at your facility, Lukas elaborated the importance of educating staff and users on the details of the program. “Ensure everyone involved has access to the information and answers for questions about scuba,” he said. “We’ve had the opportunity to educate and explain details of the program with our staff and users, so no one is surprised when they see these activities occurring in our space.”