1st Meeting "Diving and Disability": Conference, Workshops and Experiences in Cabras, Sardinia

15 May 2023

Held between Cabras and Oristano, Sardinia, in collaboration with Wase Diveducation, the disability and water rescue departments of the NRC National Rescue Council, the Sinis Rescue Center and the Marine Protected Area of Sinis and island of Mal di Ventre, the 1stMeeting "Diving and Disability" conference and experiential workshops where federations, technicians, athletes and institutions, related to the world of snorkeling diving and water tourism activities practicable by people with disabilities, were expressed.

Training of instructors and chaperones for divers and snorkelers with disabilities also took place during these four days.

The meeting and the course were organized by Sea Scout Training School, which involved in its staff of trainers, pedagogues, sociologists, NRC trainers for lay rescue subjects, and of course Wase Diveducation's Diving Instructor Trainers.

The team trained according to the ATP (Adapted Training Program) adapted training program to make aquatic disciplines accessible, the 10 instructors and chaperones who wanted to specialize.

Specific topics for physical, sensory and intellectual-relational disabilities were addressed in the training, and there were many workshop moments where difficulties due to disadvantages arising from disabilities could be shared and remedial adaptations experienced.

There were many insights and moments of emotional involvement, from the conference itself to the open sea release of a specimen of Caretta Caretta by CReS Centro Recupero del Sinis, also thanks to the constant presence of the 10 Sea Scout athletes, young people with various intellectual-relational disabilities, selected to attend the entire duration of the meeting.

Absolute novelty of this meeting where For the first time "Sports Instructional Facilitators" who, notwithstanding their disabilities, were trained and included in the staff of instructors who worked in the training of instructors for divers and snorkelers with disabilities.

Giada Murgia, who has Down syndrome, Cristian Atzori who is visually impaired, and Massimo Matta who is paraplegic, not only lectured in the modules regarding their disadvantage, but put the aspiring instructors in a position to try their hand as such against real divers with disabilities who were able to correct and instruct those who in the future will be able to relate to people with homologous disabilities.

Giada, Cristian and Massimo upon completion of the course were certified by Wase Dive educational so that they are the first recognized and operational "instructional facilitators" in a sports training center.

Speakers at the conference included Carmen Mura, regional delegate of Fisdir, Federazione Italiana Sport Disabili Intellettivo Relazionale; Vittorio Bianchini, Owner of Wase Diveducational and founder of the Atlantis Prize Foundation; Andrea De Lucia and Andrea Camedda, CNR marine biologist researchers and Sinis Recovery Center; and Sergio Barbesi and Federica Mele for the Decathlon Foundation.

Special guest and "student" Andrea Murdock Alpini, who in addition to diving in the Atp program as a student then certified, presented his latest book "Wild Dives."

Moderator of the conference and course director as well as creator of the 'ATP ( Adapted Training Program) the trainer and Instructor Trainer Riccardo A. La Porta.

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