The Luxury Included® resort company adds newly qualified local Scuba instructors.
Newly certified Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSI) can now teach diving at various Sandals® Resorts and Beaches® Resorts across the Caribbean and even anywhere in the world, after successfully completing intense training with the world’s leading Scuba diver training organization PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
Two Grenadians, Charlson Miller and Tyrone Phillip were among 10 candidates from across the region that attempted the course and formed part of the final 8 who were ultimately successful. This is the culmination of years of diver training with participants going through the tiers of qualifications from Scuba Diver all the way up to Dive Master and now up to the point of elite professional qualifications as PADI® Open Water Scuba Instructors.
“For the first time in the history of the company (Sandals Resorts International), we have achieved a milestone in that our very own Director of Water Sports, Michael Clarke who has become a PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) Director conducted the PADI Instructor Development Course in St Lucia. He was assisted by Elijah Baptiste of (Sandals Barbados) who is an IDC Staff Instructor and I,” shared Windell John, Regional (Eastern Caribbean) Water Sports Manager and qualified PADI IDC Staff Instructor.
He continued, “Previously we would have hired a foreign course director, so this is major that we have all Caribbean born, Sandals instructors leading this important developmental exercise. Over the 35 years of its existence as a brand, Sandals Resorts has made important investments in our human capital, and this is but one example.”
The PADI Examiner who ultimately determined the fate of the candidates, Nick Burskirk commented on the Grenadian candidates; “Charlson was highly motivational and has an infectious personality. He will no doubt be amongst leaders in PADI specialty certifications soon. As for Tyrone, he displayed such enthusiasm. He connects with divers and worked so hard and earned his instructor rating. Both gentlemen are examples of who PADI wants as representatives in the diving community.”
For Tyrone Phillip who began with Sandals Grenada as a beach attendant in 2013, this has been a transformative live experience. “This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The days and nights were long but I knew it would be worth it. Each stage was a challenge, especially the written exams. I had to dig deep and stay motivated throughout the journey. Words can’t explain the way I feel right now.”
“They have excelled from humble beginnings and we are extremely proud of them, especially Tyrone. They endured a grueling 2 weeks of training and proved that they have the stamina and fortitude to become the world’s leading Scuba Diving Instructors.” said Windell John, Regional (Eastern Caribbean) Water Sports Manager.
General Manager for Sandals Grenada, Peter Fraser was equally impressed, “These promising young men always had a plan. That plan came to fruition when they qualified as Dive Instructors – having started as Beach Attendants. It just goes to show you can be anything you want to be as long as your drive and determination match your discipline and focus.”