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SUBMERGED - THE RECAP STORY
The first annual SUBMERGED ADAPTIVE FESTIVAL was held June 9th – 13, 2021, in Midway City and Park City, Utah. The action-packed festival allowed attendees to become HSA Scuba Certified and experience various activities including Adaptive Mountain Biking, Rock Climb Challenge Course, Try Scuba, and Jeep Trail Riding.
The event attracted adaptive and non-adaptive individuals from 11 different states in the US. Submerged created a collaborative social environment where individuals could meet, socialize, develop friendships, and associations with people with like-minded adventure driven ambitions and curiosity. Most attendees came on their own and traveled as far as Vermont and Connecticut to experience something new and exciting.
The first round of attendees were devoted to completing HSA instructor, dive buddy, or adaptive diver certifications. Our HSA certification students attended classes and pool sessions for three days and demonstrated their skills at Neptune Divers in Sugarhouse Utah and the Homestead Crater. Midwest School of Diving conducted the HSA training under course director Mark Duggar.
The Friday Night Welcome dinner officially opened the Submerged Adaptive Festival. Todd Kemery, President of Paralyzed Veterans of America Minnesota chapter spoke at the event. With over 60 + people, attendees had a chance to meet fellow Submerged participants, demo a mix of adaptive products, including Aqua Creek’s Pro Tone Fitness Machine design for wheelchair workouts, Freedom Trax go-anywhere wheelchair adaptable Trax, RexFly Adaptive Fly fishing poles, Ocean Reef Full Face Mask, Pinnacle Wet Suits, Tovatec Lights present by Kevin Schwartz, Compassion Mobility’s array of adaptive mobility vehicles, and Indigo Industries products for adaptive and non-adaptive scuba divers. Plus, attendees learned about adaptive organizations and programs including, National Ability Center’s (NAC) activities, GOATA Movement training by Sean Cody, YMCA’s Adaptive Programs, SUD’s Adaptive Veterans Scuba programs, and Veteran’s Scuba. This relaxing evening under the cool summer sky set the stage for the action that was about to begin at 9 am at the National Ability Center in Park City and the Homestead Crater in Midway City.
Submerged participants that signed up for the Rock Climb Challenged and other NAC activities started early Saturday. The adrenaline-packed day began with the crew putting their mind, strength, and aerial limits to the test with on NAC’s Rock Climb Challenge course and finished up their day with a couple of adaptive mountain bike sessions. At 11:30 am, the Adaptive Festival kicked off in Midway City with vendor showcasing their products while attendees checked off their bucket list of at the Homestead Crater with scuba diving and try scuba sessions.
One of the most anticipated activities of Submerged Adaptive Festival was the Gala dinner at the Zermatt Resort with Special Guest Speaker Paul de Gelder.
Paul, fresh off wrapping filming of Discovery Channel's Shark Week 2021 airing the week of July 11th diverted his homebound journey after being away for three months to talk to participant. De Gelder gave a powerful address at the Gala dinner to the Submerged participants and took time to take photos, signing autographs, and speak to the participants on an individual basis. This magical night captivated the attendees with fun, great food, a standing ovation performance and collective enjoyment.
Sunday morning, many of the participants went on a 3-hour Jeep trail ride in the breathtaking mountains of the Wasatch front. The group experienced stunning views, and the Jeep group’s iconic ice cream sandwich stop. Organized by BestOff-Road.com in Orem and Utahs Brett Davis, The Jeep run was eye opening to all of the beauties that can be witnessed by everyone.
Just about the time, the Submerged Festival Opened at 11:30 am; the Jeep group rolled in for some additional scuba dives, try scubas, and socializing. Special guest Miss Wheelchair UT 2020, Lina Nguyen took time out of her schedule to come to check out the event, sign autographs, and take pictures with everyone.
Submerged Adaptive Festival wrapped with some new friendships, unforgettable moments, and epic adventures. The Submerged team would like to thank everyone who participated in the 1st annual Submerged Adaptive Festival.
See everyone next year. 2023 dates announce soon... The best is yet to come!