Du Dive is the Middle East’s first platform and diving club, having opened a year ago at Dubai’s Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex.
Tom Roberts, the head coach and owner of the company, spoke to Al Arabiya about diving in the United Arab Emirates, and how he plans to expand his company and build awareness of the sport.
He competed in numerous international competitions during his 17 years as a gymnast. Roberts discovered diving while recovering from injuries on holiday.
Du Dive was set up in early 2012 after he visited Dubai, saw a gap in the market, and thought that opening a diving school would be a great business opportunity.
He now has 240 students and three experienced diving instructors, including himself, with another trainer joining the team later in the year.
There has been a massive response to diving in the UAE, said Roberts, who plans to expand his company to Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
“I’m now looking for local divers, which is difficult, but we’ll do everything we can to make it work,” he said, adding that there are a lot of factors that contribute to being a good diver.
“I don’t believe in talent. I believe that genetics play a part, but I’m more of the attitude that if you work hard and want something, you’ll achieve,” he said. “We look for good posture, having a really straight body line, and obviously strong, bouncy, fast-twitching muscles.”
Diving is dangerous “if it’s learnt wrong,” Roberts said. “If you take the correct progressions, then it’s actually a very safe sport.”
He urges people who “love the water” and “want to be in the water” to give diving a go.
“It’s not about children having a lesson plan. For me, it’s about getting people to try it out and have an awareness for the sport. It’s not for everyone, but it’s the experience that counts. In Dubai, we have the world’s best wet diving facility.”
For more information about Du Dive visit their website www.dudive.com