Charity workers fundraising shark dive
A 26-year old woman from Penkhull, in Stoke-on-Trent, has registered for a shark dive in order to raise funds for the charity that she works for as an Events and Challenges Coordinator.
Thrill-seeking Kate Sherwin will take the plunge at Caudwell Children’s charity shark dive at Blue Planet Aquarium, in Ellesmere Port, on Saturday 20th June, 2020.
Caudwell Children, is a Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
This year’s dive, organised by Kate, is part of Caudwell Children’s #Team20 celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the charity’s foundation.
Throughout 2020 Caudwell Children is encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways, like taking part in a fundraising event, volunteering for the charity, or raising awareness of the charity’s services, in order to join their #Team20.
“As you would expect from someone who does my job I love a good challenge,” explained Kate. “I’m much more of an adrenalin junkie than someone who wants to run a marathon, or climb a mountain, so this particular challenge is right up my street.
“Not long after I joined the charity, last year, I decided that swimming with sharks was something that I really wanted to do, as it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.”
Kate, a former pupil at St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale, has undertaken a number of extreme challenges in the past including a skydive, an abseil when she was just 12, and the terrifying ‘Over the Edge’, Europe’s highest swing in Amsterdam.
“The swing was 100 meters above the ground,” exclaimed Kate. “It gives you an unrivalled panoramic view over the city but I wasn’t fazed by it.”
The dive, will bring Kate face-to-fin with a collection of fearsome looking, 10-feet long, sand tiger sharks.
The 30-minute cage free shark dive, which is open to novices, is preceded by two hours of training with Blue Planet’s highly experienced team of PADI diving instructors.
“Before the dive I’ll learn basic diving techniques from professional instructors,” said Kate. “So even though I’m an absolute beginner, without a scuba dive to my name, I’ll be fully prepared to get up close and personal with our dorsal finned friends.”
Blue Planet’s sand tiger sharks, usually found in the waters of Japan, Australia, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the east coasts of North and South America, are the largest collection of sharks in Europe. Although they look intimidating on first sight they are relatively placid and slow moving fish.
Kate, who has a Foundation Degree in Rural Event Management, and an Honours Degree in Business, says that she does have some anxieties ahead of the dive. As Kate continued: “I’m not usually claustrophobic but the thought of the whole mask situation does worry me a little.
“I don’t actually mind being in a tank full of sharks, that should be pretty cool, but it would be completely different if it was a tank full of spiders as I’m really scared of those!”
Kate says that her partner, Nath, and her friends and family have questioned her sanity. “They think I’m crazy but they appreciate the reasons why I want to do it,” she explained. “Obviously, I’ve reassured them that there is nothing to be worried about.”
Kate says that it’s going to feel unusual diving with those that she is supporting in her role at Caudwell Children. She said: “I’m going to be in the same boat as them, or perhaps not in this case, and it will be the first time in my career that I’ll be sharing the experience with those who have registered for one of my challenges.
“I’d urge others to sign up and join me on the dive as I’ve been told that diving with sharks is one of the most amazing experiences that you’re ever likely to have.
“But it will be made even more fulfilling when we complete it as part of this Caudwell Children challenge as it will help us to provide funding for in-home and in-hospital visits, specialist equipment, such as powered wheelchairs, buggies, tricycles and car seats, and a number of therapies and treatments.”
Participants will have full use of Blue Planet’s scuba equipment on the day and on completion of the dive they will receive an ‘I Dived with the Sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium’ certificate.
“The dive also includes free entry for two spectators,” said Kate. “They’ll be able to capture your jawesome experience for posterity on camera and video.
“Additional spectators are more than welcome to come and cheer you on, simply enquire for details.”
Registration for the dive costs £50 and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £400.
For more information and to register for the dive call Kate Sherwin on 01782 433756 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can support Kate through her Just Giving page here.