Christian Timmermann is passionate about teaching the world to dive, and he’s starting with kids. His PADI® Five Star Dive Center, Dive Company (S – 9052), is a seven-time winner of PADI EMEA’s “Best Diving School for Kids,” and it’s clear why: Timmermann and his complementary staff of 15 teach nearly 1,000 children on an annual basis in everything from Bubblemaker and Seal Team to Junior Open Water Diver; even two 12-year-old girls who achieved PADI Junior Rescue Diver.
He runs special children’s trips at home and abroad, organizes beach cleanups for families, and offers child-friendly lectures about the importance of marine conservation. Not even the pandemic could stop Timmermann and Dive Company from teaching the next generation of PADI Torchbearers – in the early months of Austria’s lockdown, he created several kid-friendly videos on YouTube as part of his Dive Company Bubble TV series.
When did you know you wanted to focus on teaching kids to scuba dive?
When my daughter wanted to learn to dive, I saw it as a business opportunity – focusing on children. They give back so much – their laughter, bright eyes, and enthusiasm when they’re learning.
Is it easier to teach kids on their own, or with their families?
Both are easy, if you love it!
What is the greatest difficulty in teaching children?
In a practical sense, some exercises are really difficult for kids. For example, the skill for taking the weight system on/off – sometimes they lack the strength to lift all the weights, but we work together to get through it.
What do kids respond most to when you’re teaching?
Children need a sense of order but they also respond well to fun – rewards like an ice cream or lollipop are always well received.
Of all the accolades you and your staff/store have achieved, what are you proudest of?
Every award is proof that we have done the job well. And while I’m happy about every award we’ve received, the best awards are the bright eyes and smiles of the children.
Why is it important to educate children about the importance of our ocean?
The planet is not ours. Children learn from us, so if we start to explain the importance of the ocean early on, they will take the knowledge with them. Some day they might have their own children, and share the importance of the ocean in a way they were taught – or maybe even better!
Based on an article that appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2020 The Undersea Journal®
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