Scuba scholarship to honour Bob Soto

| 16/07/2018
CNS Local LIfe

Bob Soto with son Rene

(CNS Local Life): A scholarship named for dive pioneer Bob Soto has been set up with the first recipient to be awarded at the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) induction ceremony set for 14 September 2018. Soto established the first diving operation in the Caribbean and one of the first in the world, and through the years trained many young Caymanian men who worked with him.

The Bob Soto Memorial Scuba Scholarship is aimed at Caymanians who share Soto’s passion for diving and want to further their scuba training, stated a press release. Soto, along with Elita Bodden Soto, established Bob Soto’s Diving in 1957.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants need a scuba certification as the grant is to be used for training to be a diving instructor through Red Sail Sports, as well as write an essay describing interest in scuba diving, goals, and hopes for future contributions.

Bob Soto’s widow, Suzy (they were married for 34 years until Bob’s passing in 2015), is funding the scholarship. “I wanted to recognise Bob for all his work for the Cayman Islands, not only in diving but also for such efforts as helping to create protected marine parks and our five-year project, the ‘Tradition’ Monument, unveiled in 2001 by Prince Edward, that honours Caymanians lost at sea or killed during World War II,” she said.

“I feel the scholarship is the most fitting way to honour him and recognise his lasting legacy to Cayman’s scuba diving industry. He personally trained many still operating dive businesses to this day,” she added, thanking Rene Soto, Rod McDowall, Ron Kipp and Barrie Quappe, who helped set up the scholarship.

Rene Soto, who with brothers Danny and Randy worked with their father, said of the scholarship, “My father would have wanted the criteria to be set high as he always strived to show and promote Cayman in the best possible light. The individual receiving this opportunity should have some level of confidence, intelligence, and integrity to represent Cayman to the public.”

For more information or to get an application email Red Sail Sports or Suzy Soto. Applications are also available at the ISDHF exhibit at the Cayman Islands National Museum, which features Soto and other Hall of Fame inductees.

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Category: Diving, Sports

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