Be A Scuba Ranger
In 2002, Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Hassan’s daughter, Sharifah Nadhirah, 8 years old, became the youngest Internationally certified Kids diver in Malaysia.
I took her diving to different places and most of the time, I only saw expatriate kids diving,” said Syed who has dived at hotspots like Maldives, Australia, Sulawesi, Thailand, Sipadan & Layang Layang in the last 12 years. “I thought if my daughter could do it, why not other Malaysian kids?” So the dive master did some research, took up the Scuba Rangers instructor certification in Singapore and set up Kids Scuba in March 2004.
Scuba Rangers, a kids scuba activity club, was started in 1999 by Paul Oberle of Louisiana, US. He pioneered child-specific scuba training techniques and educational philosophies. Affiliated with Scuba Schools International (SSI), Rangers Clubs are found worldwide. (Scuba Rangers, US)
Though the Scuba Ranger classes cater for kids aged eight to 12, parents and teenagers are welcome. We encourage parents to share their kids’ experiences,” said Syed who runs the school with a team of Instructors, Dive masters and rescue divers.
To get a scuba ranger certificate, students need to complete five levels of classes which comprises of Red, White, Blue, Silver & Demo Ranger where they learn about water safety techniques, snorkeling skills, mask clearing, scuba equipment and underwater scuba skills.
"One of the objectives is to help them overcome the fear of water", said Syed. “We start the first stage at three feet (about one meter), where they kneel down in the pool and put their head below water. Anytime they don’t feel comfortable, they can just stand up.”
With three students to a teacher, the students get proper attention. Kids Scuba also invites a marine biologist to teach the kids about marine life, coral reefs and caring for the marine environment.