Fifteen teens and young adults with disabilities have had fun and achieved new levels of underwater success in the past few weeks on Grand Cayman through the group Stay-Focused.
The US-based not for profit group, which teaches young wheelchair-bound people to dive, visits Grand Cayman a number of times each year to carry out its programmes.
The core of the Stay-Focused programme is the opportunity for mobility-challenged young adults to become certified scuba divers, and through that experience to learn lasting lessons about life and achievement.
Over the past few weeks Stay-Focused has run three very successful dive programmes, said Founder/President Roger Muller.
Among the highlights of these programmes were that Stay-Focused certified its first three participants with cerebral palsy, conducted a Discover Scuba experience for two trainees from the Sunrise Adult Learning Centre, and certified a returning Stay-Focused diver to dive nitrox.
Also, Ryan Chalmers, a Stay-Focused diver, served as the first mentor for its mentorship programme. Stay-Focused enlisted the support of two interns, three coaches and their medical doctor, who successfully completed his Rescue Diver certification between programmes.
Trisha Yurochko, a coach and valued member of the Stay-Focused team achieved her Advanced Open Water certification.
Some of the other on-island activities enjoyed by the group of Stay-Focused divers included a helicopter ride, parasailing, a visit to Boatswain’s Beach, workshops including a kayaking team-building tour of the mangroves forest, provided by the Ritz-Carlton’s Ambassadors of the Environment Programme.
Stay-Focused dive programmes are conducted at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel and for its diving operations, Stay-Focused partners with Red Sail Sports.
The group is also supported by volunteers and sponsors island-wide.
Stay-Focused uses Grand Cayman for its programmes because it is amongst the finest diving areas in the world, it offers superb dive sites with easy access, dive facilities with extremely high safety ratings, warm water with excellent visibility and limited current, and first-rate medical facilities.
‘We’ll be offering more diving opportunities for local youth in the months ahead and continue to build the program,’ said Mr. Muller.