Wednesday 10 December 2008

The demise of YMCA Scuba & the birth of SEI Diving

News Release

Tom Leaird, CEO of SCUBA Acquisitions Inc. and former YMCA Scuba Instructor Trainer and Scuba Advisory Committee Chairman, announced the formation of the new non-profit scuba education agency, Scuba Educators International (SEI Diving) that will provide services to instructors and diving certifications worldwide.

SEI Diving Philosophy
  • The desire to share an experience rather than sell a sport
  • A concern for people and what they feel and how they learn
  • A program dedicated to safety through education rather than marketing
  • A course of instruction that maximizes the ability of each individual
  • A course that teaches students and their buddies to become independently competent in the water and out.
  • Our students become divers that can safely enjoy our recreational activity throughout the world to the fullest.
SEI Diving Vision

To be recognized worldwide for the premier quality of instruction seen in our students.

SEI Diving Motto

Learn from the best, where a full education makes the difference.

The new agency will not be connected with the YMCA of the USA, but will continue to share philosophies and dedication to the highest quality education in the industry. At the core of this new agency is a collection of determined former YMCA scuba instructors, diligently striving to keep the spirit alive.

In July of 2008, YMCA informed all scuba management and YMCA associations of the end of their participation in scuba certification, effective December 31, 2008. The news initiated a sunsetting process, transitioning to the final closure of the program on June 30, 2009.

This was unfortunate and disheartening information for the scuba industry. For 50 consecutive years the YMCA had been certifying scuba divers and promoting healthy education. Many instructors express deep disappointment for the end of this epoch.

Despite the termination of the Yscuba era, all YMCA scuba certifications will remain valid. The YMCA will also replace any lost certification card that was earned through their program. Such programs as aquatics, lifeguard training and water fitness classes will still be offered to members.

In the face of discontinuation, there is hope that the spirit of the program will continue through the efforts of Scuba Educators International, or SEI Diving, led by Tom Leaird, Dan Marelli, and Ken Nemeth, former YMCA instructors, who make up the Board of Directors of SEI Diving.
We saw there would be a gap in scuba education without Yscuba. We plan to continue to teach knowledge-based courses using high standards, said Leaird.

Current Yscuba instructors and leaders from other agencies are encouraged to become a part of SEI Diving. Contact Scuba Educators International at 1623 W. Jackson Street, Muncie, IN 47303 or phone (765) 281-0600 or fax (765) 288-1297 or