GO Diving is making its show debut in Ricoh Arena’s Ericsson Indoor Arena on Saturday 23 February and Sunday 24 February 2019.
The show will be making a splash with a range of diving experiences for visitors as part of efforts to bring through the next wave of divers.
This includes eight virtual reality stands where people can experience swimming with sharks, seals and exploring caves and shipwrecks.
Families can also have a go at wriggling through a dark, 30-metre-long dry cave system – which is inspired by actual underwater caves – with nothing but a helmet and torch to help guide their way.
The challenge is supported by the Cave Diving Group, who were instrumental in getting personnel to the Thai cave rescue mission earlier this year, and at least one of the key rescue divers will be speaking at the show.
Other attractions include two 100-square-metre tanks for swimmers of varying ages to experience scuba diving and freediving for the very first time with all of the necessary equipment.
Real-life mermaid Linden Wolbert – who swims with a specially-constructed monofin ‘tail’ and can hold her breath underwater for five minutes while diving to depths of more than 30 metres – will also be sharing stories of exploring underwater habitats and her passion for educating people about the ocean.
The show is being organised by Mark Evans and Ross Arnold from Scuba Diver magazine.
“We are bringing the best bits of the world’s oceans to the heart of the UK’s mainland, to provide a fully immersive and interactive experience that will open people’s eyes to the wonderful experiences that diving offers,” Evans said.
“Currently around 70,000 people in the UK regularly go diving and that number is even bigger in Europe, and by making real-life diving experiences more accessible at shows such as this, we are hoping it will spark a surge in interest.
“Visitors can experience what an adrenaline-fuelled shark dive in the Bahamas feels like without getting their feet wet, or come face-to-face with a great white shark and, if they wish, they can also take an actual try dive in one of our pools.
“There is also an exploding mermaid trend at the minute, and to get one of the world’s leading professional mermaids, Linden Wolbert, to the show is a coup for us.”
There will be six separate stages at the show. These include the ‘inspiration stage’ for beginners and novices, with talks from all of the main training agencies, while the ‘main stage’ will feature talks from BBC stars Andy Torbet, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Monty Halls, freediving legend Umberto Pelizzari, Discovery Channel’s Mehgan Heaney-Grier and National Geographic film-maker Jill Heinerth.
Existing scuba divers are also well-catered for at GO Diving, with other areas focusing on ideas for diving adventures, freediving, technical diving and underwater photography.
More than 80 scuba-diving-related manufacturers, training agencies, distributors, resorts and travel agents will also be in attendance at the show.
Caroline Lissaman, Head of Events at Ricoh Arena, added: “This is the first time that people have been able to come to Ricoh Arena to indulge in the world’s oceans, and it looks both educational and fun.
“There’s no other diving show in the UK that brings together such a wide variety of diving activities.
“It has mass appeal that everybody can relate to, and we’re looking forward to helping the show to lay down solid foundations for further growth in future years.”
Tickets for GO Diving can be purchased by visiting: www.godivingshow.com