Elite - World Dive Center of The Year.
Written by Elite Diving's Dive Show manager - Denise Slade
After being voted by the Readers of Sport Diver Magazine the best Dive Center in The Red Sea 2012, Elite Diving staff were over the moon to be invited back to the Annual presentation for a second year and told we had reached the final again this year. Only two dive centers had been invited. We instantly realised we were at least runners up for the world title the same as the year previously. In 2012 we were the only Red Sea Dive Center in the final which gave us the Red Sea title. This year we were pitted with one of the giants of Red Sea diving and who had been in operation for over 25 years with a large client base.
When the editor of Sports Diver Mark Evans, announced the runners up for the world title and it wasn't us, our team just looked at each other in disbelief as it could only mean one thing. We had taken the number one spot in the World. In unison we gave out a massive cheer. People in the presentation could have mistaken our cheer for the runners up but we knew what was coming next.
Elite Diving is a British family run business, unlike the majority of the well known dive centers in Sharm, it is run by husband and wife team Alun and Moyra who heads a fabulous team of people. When Alun and Moyra were interviewed by Sport Diver on what they attribute their success to. Alun replied
"I feel that it's our personal approach to running the dive center that people who come and dive with us seem to like. After all, they get to meet the owners, often dive with them and socialise with them, and at the end of the day, the buck stops with us, so we can't pass it on to a non approachable general manager behind an office door. We don't want any problems to deal with, so we make sure things go smoothly in the first place. It's quite simple, we just make sure things are how we would like it if we were on a dive holiday ourselves, and we have had plenty of them.
As well as that, it's the team as a whole that makes it very memorable for the divers that dive with us. It's taken us a few years to get the staff we wanted to represent us, but we now have a team that is like a family, and all having different personalities. Starting with the back room staff who fill the tanks, the office staff who take the bookings and general admin, down to the boat crews and of course our dive team of instructors who are so enthusiastic and excited with what they are doing, and is so evident when people dive with them."
Mark Evans of Sports diver asked Moyra about any future plans for Elite Diving.
"We have grown over the years, but have still maintained that personal approach and family or club type atmosphere. Many people have asked us if we plan to expand to a different location. If we did, I think the atmosphere and standards would get diluted and we would end up being just like any other dive center.
We are very happy with how our dive center has turned out. It helps that we enjoy our divers immensely and many have become long standing friends.
We owe this award not only to our staff, but also to the divers who dive with us. It's them that took the time to vote for us. We are so touched by the amount of people that made the effort for us. We'd like to thank each and every one and hopefully we'll be able to, over the coming season."
What came next was out of the blue! The team hadn't finished hugging and tapping each other on the back and having trouble in straightening their faces due to the big smiles after winning such a converted award in the face of some very high powered competition, when the Instructor of the year was announced. Alun was at the back of the stage by now, when he heard his name being announced over the PA system. He popped his head around the stage, and Mark Evans said to him
"You've won again"
"Won what" Replied Alun
"You've won Instructor of the Year" replied Mark.
Well, the look on Alun's face was a picture. He was telling us later that he still hadn't come down after winning the Dive Center award, and it was as if he was in a dream.
Mark Evans shook Alun's hand and handed him the award with Alun looking on in disbelief and mouth agape.
The funny thing was, when Alun walked back towards his team with the second trophy, his son G, who is one of the dive show team, said to him. "That's brilliant, but I voted for Alec".
The whole team burst out laughing, even Alun. G meant it of course.
After Alun, Alec is the longest standing instructor with elite diving. Alec did his Dive Master with elite back in 2006 and this is when I met Alec and Alun & Moyra when I was working in Sharm for Thomson Holidays as a resort rep'.
Alec instructed me on me PADI Advanced course and then he went back to the UK for a few years, but he missed the work and elite diving so much, he ended up going back to elite in Sharm where he still works as Assistant manager and a PADI and BSAC Instructor.
Alec Jones. Elite Diving's Assistant Manager
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