Divers are in deep water for quirky 24-hour challenge

UNDERWATER SCRABBLE Emma Johnson, Kate Ronnie, Emma Bell and Christina Burke of the University of Portsmouth Sub Aqua Club fundraising event for Children In Need at the Pyramids in Southsea '''              Picture: Allan Hutchings (143184-346)
UNDERWATER SCRABBLE Emma Johnson, Kate Ronnie, Emma Bell and Christina Burke of the University of Portsmouth Sub Aqua Club fundraising event for Children In Need at the Pyramids in Southsea ''' Picture: Allan Hutchings (143184-346)
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FANCY passing the time with Jenga, chess or Twister, but making it a little bit more challenging?

The University of Portsmouth’s Sub-Aqua Club is in the middle of a 24-hour challenge to spend time underwater.

The adventurous bid is being done to raise money for charity Children in Need.

Tim Dibben, a business and management student at the university, is co-ordinating the event, which will see at least one member of the diving club underwater at any one time.

The 20-year-old said: ‘The club did something similar in 2008 and it raised £1,000.

‘When I heard about it I was very enthusiastic about doing it again and spoke to the other members of the club, who agreed to take part.’

In total, around 50 people will put on their masks and oxygen tanks to take part in the challenge, which started at 7pm yesterday.

It is being held at The Pyramids Centre in Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, and is due to finish at 7pm tonight.

Tim added: ‘To make it more interesting and keep people entertained, we thought about different activities that we can do under water.

‘Some of the suggestions that came up included playing chess, Jenga and Twister – it will certainly make it more interesting.

‘As we had the pool to ourselves, we had more people overnight.

‘Most people have been doing three hours underwater, but there are a few who will be going for 10 hours.

‘We will replace their oxygen cylinders underwater for them to continue for so long.’

Tim was hoping to spend four hours underwater, with the rest of the time poolside in order to co-ordinate the event.

He said: ‘We’d like to say thank you to The Pyramids for letting us do the event in its pool.

‘We also want to thank Solent Divers for helping with equipment and to Suunto, which donated £1,200 worth of items.

‘This is being auctioned in a silent auction within the club, so we’re hoping that will also help raise a lot of money.

‘Anyone who wants to support the event is welcome to take a seat poolside and take a look at what’s happening.’

Children in Need is the BBC’s national charity and has been going since 1980, with its main show being broadcast tomorrow night.

Money raised for Children in Need helps disabled children and young people in the UK. So far, more than £600m has been raised nationally.

To support the 24-hour underwater challenge, go to justgiving.com/upsac