World champion freediver Tanya Streeter launched Mencap’s first 24 hour sponsored scuba diving event, Dive:24 on Saturday 18 June at the 30 metre Submarine Escape Training Tank in Gosport, Portsmouth during a . The dive took place at the start of Learning Disability Week (20-26 June).
Starting at 12 noon 280 divers throughout the UK, including divers with a learning disability, are taking part in both indoor and outdoor dives for Dive:24. Each team has over 24 divers (12 buddy pairs) taking it in turns to dive for a minimum of two sessions of one hour underwater with a surface interval in between. Across the country divers will be underwater from noon to noon, Saturday to Sunday. The event is supported by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Tanya Streeter said: "I’m delighted that Mencap is getting involved with the growing number of people who enjoy recreational diving. This event will raise awareness of what a fantastic sport diving is for people of all abilities."
Jo Williams, Chief Executive, Mencap said: "Learning Disability Week is all about opening up new worlds of opportunity. Dive:24 is an opportunity for Mencap to find new supporters among divers at the same time as encouraging people with a learning disability to consider a sport that may not have been so accessible in the past."
Tanya Streeter has surpassed both women’s and men’s freediving world records on several occasions, making her one of the most accomplished and recognised athletes in her sport. The launch took place from the Submarine Escape Training Tank in Portsmouth where Tanya Streeter is training people interested in freediving for a special one off course bythis weekend. She is a patron of the Scuba Trust a charity that helps people with disabilities learn to dive.
Each diver is raising a minimum 50 GBP sponsorship. Funds raised will help Mencap support children and adults with a learning disability, their families and carers. Dive:24 launches Mencap’s Learning Disability Week 2005. This year’s theme is Opening up new worlds of opportunity. Events will show how much people with a learning disability can achieve with the right support and opportunities.