Why the Challenge?
Six years ago, I began the adventure of creating the Ultimate Diver Challenge! My enthusiastic passion for Scuba Diving, coupled with my addiction for reality television shows, inspired the idea of "The Ultimate Diver Challenge."
Finally, after 5 successful years, the Ultimate Diver Challenge premiered on NBC Sports (formerly VERSUS) as the first ever Scuba Reality Show where divers see if they have what it takes to be the "best of the best" in scuba diving. Divers compete team against team in challenges that are designed to test knowledge, buoyancy, navigation, safety, search, stress, and rescue skills through precision and accuracy. This summer, teams of divers will compete in a week of mini challenges vying for an opportunity to be selected to be one of the teams featured in the upcoming Ultimate Diver Challenge Season Two for the chance to earn the title of the "Ultimate Diver".
Although Scuba diving is typically considered a non-competitive sport, a huge emphasis is placed on continued education, training and safety related to scuba skills and knowledge. On television, every sport, competitive and non-competitive, has declared the best of the best. I have seen the best poker player, ballroom dancer, car racer, football team, soccer team, survivor, singer, chef, ice skater, and on and on and on. Never in the history of Scuba Diving has a diver been acknowledged as "The Ultimate Diver" for mastering the basic scuba skills that emphasize the extreme importance of protecting our reefs, and upholding safe, recreational standards of Scuba Diving.
Who am I?
Well, I am the crazy mom and nurse from Kansas City, MO that dreamed up this concept years ago while watching one of my favorite reality TV Shows, Survivor. I took the plunge to get certified in 1987 and have been addicted to scuba diving ever since. Unfortunately, my love for diving took a long vacation after discovering my 22 month old daughter had leukemia in 1992. My diving adventures resumed in 1995, after many years of Alicia's successful cancer treatments. With the return of scuba in my life, I decided to infect everyone I know with the joy of scuba starting with my family.
I recruited my husband Dave to diving in 1997. He is one of the creative coordinators designing and creating the challenges with the support of safety and volunteers.
Alicia, my daughter now 21 years old, has been diving with me since she was 12. You will find Alicia assisting in the production of the show assuming various roles but she really enjoys being the distressed victim that has to be rescued.
I taught my son Nathan as a Scuba Ranger when he was only 8 (certified at 10 and now 17 years old). He found a new role this summer as the filming crew recruited him to handle the boom!
Alexis at 14, has now been diving 4 years & Aliya at 11 is eager to get certified this summer. You will find these two helping with just about everything top side, but they really enjoy running the time clocks as the cameras catch them on set here and there. Aliya says now that she is on TV that she is famous!
Why Can this Help Growth for the Scuba Diving Industry?
Reality Shows for me are certainly an addiction. Couple that with scuba diving and we have a winner! Our sport is one of the most unique sports in the world. We are the fortunate ones that enter and explore a whole other REAL world filled with creatures, plants, and formations that many only dream of experiencing. I have often heard, “I could never do something like that”. Our dream is that a TV Show will inspire non-divers to understand how fun, exciting, and easy scuba diving is! Reality TV allows viewers to see from the eyes of others and this is an excellent sporting opportunity to share scuba diving with a competitive edge! Imagine the impact a TV show can offer for the growth of scuba that will allow non-divers to explore a new paradise of the underwater world as each face their individual fears and questions that prevent them from taking the plunge!
The Ultimate Diver Challenge showcases the extreme importance that is placed on education, training and safety emphasized by the scuba diving industry. Although diving is typically seen as an individual, non-competitive sport, each of us are obligated to maintain and improve scuba skills that will not only keep ourselves and others safe, but help protect our reefs and marine life from human harm. Have some fun! Join us and see for yourself the significance of the event and the show! I can't say enough about the fun and excitement that divers display taking the challenges! Be sure to watch the trailer on YouTube for a glimpse of The Ultimate Diver Challenge fun! Stay tuned for Season Two!
Join us for some fun in the sun, take the challenge, come as fun diver, volunteer or spectator! Enjoy seminars and educational opportunities!
Pam Bertrand, Executive Producer