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Physical disability does not have to be a barrier to enjoying marine activities, says one wheelchair user who's recently qualified as a scuba dive instructor.
Gary Allen, who has spina bifida, tells The Irish Times how he refused to let his disability get in the way of his passion for the water.
Allen, who lives in Co Galway, first got involved in sailing four years ago at an event in Kinsale hosted by the Irish Disabled Sailing Association - and was soon at the helm of his own refurbished trimaran specially adapted for disabled users.
His interest in scuba diving was piqued after a talk by Scotsman Fraser Bathgate, who qualified as the world's first wheelchair-using diving instructor. Allen later trained under Bathgate with members of the Galway Dive School.
“The sensation of absolute weightlessness which I experienced on my first scuba-dive is something that I don’t think I will ever forget,” says the Roscommon native.
By 2009 Allen was ready to make his first coastal dive, and in August last year he secured his Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi) certificate.
The Irish Times has more on Allen's inspiring story HERE.

Physical disability does not have to be a barrier to enjoying marine activities, says one wheelchair user who's recently qualified as a scuba dive instructor.

Gary Allen, who has spina bifida, tells The Irish Times how he refused to let his disability get in the way of his passion for the water.

Allen, who lives in Co Galway, first got involved in sailing four years ago at an event in Kinsale hosted by the Irish Disabled Sailing Association - and was soon at the helm of his own refurbished trimaran specially adapted for disabled users. 

His interest in scuba diving was piqued after a talk by Scotsman Fraser Bathgate, who qualified as the world's first wheelchair-using diving instructor. Allen later trained under Bathgate with members of the Galway Dive School.

“The sensation of absolute weightlessness which I experienced on my first scuba-dive is something that I don’t think I will ever forget,” says the Roscommon native.

By 2009 Allen was ready to make his first coastal dive, and in August last year he secured his Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi) certificate.

The Irish Times has more on Allen's inspiring story HERE.

Published in Diving

About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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