As college resumes for another year, students old and new engage in their new modules and prepare themselves for the work ahead. However there is one fundamental part of college life that at other stages of formal education is not available: clubs and societies.
There are over 120 clubs and societies across two campuses in DCU which cater for all sorts of hobbies, activities, and interests. Some of the societies are well known to returning students and faculty and have been established for a long time. There are however, certain societies that are not as well known and provide students with niche opportunities.
DCU’s Sub Aqua Club is one such unique example. The club was established in 2001 by founder Brian Stone, a lecturer of Computing in DCU. Stone, who was enthusiastic about the sea, swimming, and snorkeling from an early age noted that many other universities at the time had a sub aqua club and saw the opportunity for one at DCU.
Stone tells The College View: “Having a club in DCU allows lots of students, staff, and graduates to come into contact with the sport and if they want to, can go on to become advanced divers and instructors.” he adds: “Ireland has some of the best cold water diving in the world, a very colourful underwater world to explore and the sport takes you to many beautiful locations around Ireland.”
SO what makes this society so special? Well we can go to places where humankind was never meant to be, explore underwater terrain and gardens of exotic animals and plants growing on the rocks, all in Ireland.
“Simply being out on the water in an open boat is great, knowing that it is safe yet exciting, driving at high speed to our dive site, bouncing over the waves, the thrill of entering the water, rolling backwards off the side of the boat and slipping into the emerald depths, breathing freely and comfortably, sharing the experience with your buddy, there is
nothing like it.” said Stone.
I joined the sub aqua club in my first year at DCU. Scuba diving was something that I never thought I’d be able to afford but as the society is subsidised by DCU it cost me only €20 to be insured and trained.
Unlike other societies in DCU, the Sub Aqua club felt more like a family, everyone got to know each other very well, whether it be on a 4-hour-long car journey, preparing the food for dinner or down in the local pub. Camaraderie, friendship and enjoying what life has to offer are core values of the club, beer being another.
Through the friends I’ve made, seeing our country’s raw unfiltered beauty and submerging myself into a world I had only experienced through television, the club will remain a part of me throughout my life.
Photo Credit: The Irish Times