Is scuba diving a sport?

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 Is scuba diving a sport?

Firstly, what do we define as ‘sport’? In general terms, it is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Scuba diving does follow the two main guidelines to being classified as a sport; physical exertion and competition. So yes, scuba diving or broader diving, in general, is absolutely a sport.  

This is shown through scuba divers that train hard at the gym before going on trips, complete with personal trainers to ensure they reach their maximum potential underwater, but also how competitive some divers are when training other skills such as trimix diver courses.


What about competitive diving?

Competitive scuba diving has also been around for a long time with the PADI and CMAS organizations holding dive meets where individuals and teams compete against each other to win trophies and medals.

Diving is not only physical exertion, but it can be mentally testing as well. Some people have described diving as like meditation underwater, with the diver having to be relaxed in order to control their breathing patterns. Training your mind is just as important as training your body, and there are schools that teach this kind of technique – yoga for example teaches you how to relax when your body is moving; during exercise or whilst sitting still in meditation.

Now it’s also not to say that extreme sports such as free diving don’t also fall under this category of being a sport – they do.  However, there is one major difference between these two types of diving – bragging rights!

For people who have never dived before, scuba seems like a natural progression from snorkeling –  it isn’t just a walk in the park (even though that is part of it). Diving takes you so much deeper than snorkeling and there are many more dangers involved when compared to snorkeling due to depth and equipment.  With snorkeling, it’s more for fun and doesn’t involve the same risk as scuba diving does.

It’s not just the deep end that scuba divers are tested to, but also technical diving where you have breathing gases such as heliox and trimix to help divers work deeper – deeper than most recreational dive sites go.  The training undertaken by these divers involves a lot of homework with tests being written so that they can learn how different gasses react with their bodies during a dive, whilst other people learn through experience and doing courses on open circuit equipment first.

Scuba diving covers everything from fun dives where you go and look at the fish  –  it’s all about experiencing the underwater world; to technical diving and deep dives, where you need to plan your dive based on your equipment, gas supply, and decompression.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which type you choose… just be content that, yes, it is a sport like any other physical activity you want to get involved in!

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