PADI Women’s Dive Day Nouf AlOsaimi

 

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Nouf’s PADI story begins back in 2008 in Manchester City in the UK when she was completing her undergraduate degree in Tourism. Wanting a break to seek out the sun and sand, Nouf headed to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. It was here that Nouf first encountered the underwater world by way of a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience, and “it was life changing.” She went back in 2009 where she completed her PADI Open Water course and PADI Advanced Open Water course, followed by the PADI Rescue Diver course in 2010. Going on to complete her PADI Divemaster rating in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2011 she then spent a full 12 months working as a Divemaster and underwater photographer back in Sharm, before becoming a PADI Instructor in 2013.

Nouf, now a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, is focused on educating and teaching women to learn to dive within Saudi. So what are her thoughts on female divers in Saudi Arabia and Women’s dive day?

“To me, being a female diver, means the world to me. Becoming a diver in a conservative society, where all sports are only dominated by men, was a huge challenge for me. Many females reject this incredible sport because it involves men teaching them how to dive.”

This is one of the most important challenges Nouf faces. “I see that women are concerned about who is going to train them, how and where?”

Nouf’s passion for the marine environment and for female participation in diving is clear, and this is the driving force behind her next endeavour. “Now, I am building a female training center specifically to train and educate women about the importance of the sea and the environment. When you dive you see how many different types of creatures are living together in a uniquely balanced system. We must not spoil it. Diving gives me confidence and empowers my sense of responsibility towards the environment in general. I have trained many female divers, and there are more on the waiting list. They are happy to see a female instructor that teaches them about the importance of the sea and why we should dive.”

When asked about PADI Women’s Dive Day, Nouf makes an important distinction, “it is not just about gathering females and heading right away underwater. Women’s Dive Day is about how we can get more females to know what diving is about, through lectures and success stories. What diving can do for you as an individual, how it will impact your life, what you can gain from it. I believe Women’s Dive Day is a great opportunity to have women sign up for a life changing course.”

So what are Nouf’s wise words to females wanting to take the leap to dive professional, and how can we get more women underwater and involved in the community? “Choosing a diving career means that you do what you love and love what you do! The more dives you make with different instructors and the more skills and experiences you gain. Women’s Dive Day is a good start to get more women signed up for something life changing. Sadly, many movies have shown the negative side of the sea, making sharks the ultimate enemy underwater. We must show the positive side of the sea to newbies so they can appreciate the underwater environment more.”

PADI 50th Anniversary Contest with Prizes from Aqua Lung, GoPro, Suunto and Vivid-Pix

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2016 marks PADI’s 50th Anniversary, and to help us celebrate this landmark event we’re calling on PADI Professionals and divers to share their favourite diving moments from the last 50 years.

Enter a photo, video or story today and you could win one of these incredible prizes: an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, a GoPro HERO4 package, a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, Vivid-Pix photo editing software or a PADI eLearning Gift Pass/Gift Bag.

The contest is open now and will close for entries on 10th July 2016 (23:59 UTC). Winners will be announced on 25th July 2016. Please visit the contest page for full terms and conditions.

Why not share…

  • An incredible marine life encounter
  • A memorable experience with your scuba students
  • How and why you became a PADI Pro

Make sure you get your customers and student divers involved, too! They can share their top underwater memories or simply tell us what being a PADI diver means to them.

Top tip: Why not offer some themed events (like local marine life spotting or photography days) to help your students experience and capture some incredible moments under the surface. Make it easy for everyone to enter the contest by setting up a computer and connection for them to make use of e the post-dive briefings.

Click here to enter via the Contest Page
or
Tag your entries on Twitter or Instagram using #PADI50Years

3 Categories to Enter:

gopro#1 – Share a Photo

A photo says a thousand words. Submit a photo which showcases your favourite diving moment to win a GoPro HERO4 package, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

core-reg#2 – Share a Video

Manage to get your favourite diving moment on film? Let us watch it too! Submit your video to win an Aqua Lung CORE Regulator, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

#3 – Write About it

Didn’t have a camera with you? That’s OK. Write about your favourite diving moment in 150 words or less and win a Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer, PADI eLearning or Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

 

Enter Now!

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Vacancy: PADI EMEA Dutch & German Speaking Customer Service Consultant

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PADI EMEA have an opening for a Dutch & German speaking Customer Service Consultant to join our team.  Based in the UK Bristol office the role involves supporting our members and the territory hubs to deliver and exceptional level of Customer Service and achieve goals, including responding to customer general and technical queries by phone and email and processing membership applications.

We are looking for customer focused applicants with experience of working in a busy customer service and particularly using the telephone and good communication skills. Essential language requirements are fluent Dutch, German and English, additional European languages would also be an advantage.

If you are interested and would like more details please contact:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Take The 2016 Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge!

EIC-BlogHeader1200x500Were you a PADI Elite Instructor in 2015? If so, get ready for a little friendly competition!

Take the 2016 Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge from 1st July to 31st October 2016 and be in with a chance to win 2017 PADI Membership Renewal plus recognition in Undersea Journal, on PADI Social Media sites, the PADI Pros’ Site and (where possible) in local diving media. You’ll also win a personalised PADI Jacket and get featured coverage in the myPADI campaign.

What’s more, the individual Elite Instructor with the overall highest conversion rate during the Elite Instructor myPADI Challenge will also win a Suunto D6i dive computer.

How does it work?

To ensure a level playing field, you’ll be competing against others in your 2015 Elite Instructor category (50, 100, 150, 200 and 300 certifications), and the 2015 Elite Instructors showing the largest percentage growth in certifications (compared to the same time frame last year) will win. It’s as simple as that!

How do I apply?

You don’t need to take any action to enter or apply because PADI will track your growth for you! You’ll even be able to keep track of your progress via the PADI Pros’ Site throughout the campaign.

Click here for the Full Contest Rules

Now, get certifying and good luck!

PADI Women’s Dive Day: interview with Nancy Abd El Wahab

 2016 PADI Women’s Dive Day is coming up!

With numerous events hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. While the focus is on women, all are encouraged to get involved. It’s a great opportunity to get the women, friends, and family members in your life together for a fun day of diving!

In anticipation of the event on 16th of July 2016, we are interviewing several women who are inspirational to divers and non-divers alike.

Find here below the second in a series of interviews with Nancy Abd El Wahab – PADI Course Director at Dahab Divers in Dahab, Egypt.

nancy1Why/How did you become a PADI Diver?

When I was a teenager I was a competitive swimmer and I loved watching documentaries about the ocean, such as ones from Hans Hass. Due to my fascination with the underwater world my parents gave me a diving course as a Christmas present at the beginning of the 1990’s. I remember it vividly; it was January and we went to a lake in Germany, the water was 4 degrees cold, there was no visibility and I was wearing a suit that was miles too big for me and broken gloves. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved it!

What does PADI mean to you?

PADI opened up the possibility for me to follow my dream to teach others to become divers and even to teach Scuba Diving Instructors. PADI has always supported my work and the educational system is just fantastic. For me PADI stands for education, adventure, conservation, empowerment and transformation.

nancy3What does it mean to you to be a female diver?

Personally, I would like to see more women at higher professional levels of diving. It is already happening in so many areas of diving, such as technical diving, recreational diving, freediving and hyperbaric medicine to name a few. Women are excelling in areas in diving that have previously been home ground to men. Thus, I am very proud of being a female diver, PADI Instructor and PADI Course Director. I hope that through the passion I have for diving and teaching diving I can inspire other woman.

What is your dream dive?

Definitely Sharks Reef at Ras Mohamed (Egypt), especially during the summer because of all the diversity, the unbelievable amount of fish and amazing colors you  can only see in the Red Sea.

nancy2Best moment in diving?

I had many great moments but by far the best moment was when I took my daughter, Samra, the first time diving when she was 8 year old for her Bubblemaker program. Now she is nearly 20, a TEC diver and she will start her PADI Instructor course with me this summer.

samra2What are your plans for WDD this year? As a PADI Instructor, do you have any suggestions for divers for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016?

In Dahab I would like to get all my female PADI Instructors friends together to offer the PADI DSD for women only. I believe it is very inspiring and empowering for women to see other women working as Instructors and taking an important role in the diving industry. Since it is one of my life’s greatest pleasures to dive with my daughter I would like to encourage other female divers to take their daughters diving too on this special day.

What do you feel are the most important challenges and opportunities facing women in diving? 

I think, nowadays women are more accepted in the diving industry/world. When I first started diving in Germany women were definitely not given the opportunities that they are given today. However, I still see many countries where female divers are an exception because of cultures where it is not common that men and women participate in the same activities. I believe that we need to find ways to teach more female divers in these cultures and countries, who then can become Instructors. These women can go on and help encourage other women to dive.

nancy5How can we get more women in the water and involved in the dive community?

Throughout the years I have trained many women to become PADI Instructors and I am very proud to see them being passionate about their role as a teacher and that they inspire the next generation of female divers. I did the same with my daughter and she is part of the new generation of female divers. It makes me very proud seeing her and how her diving skills are growing. I think it is a great opportunity for us female professional divers to carry our passion to our daughters and other women who then will be able to carry this passion to more women in their environments, such as Universities or work places.

 Tips to women thinking about a career in diving?

Nothing against men, but the diving industry is a male dominated industry. Thus, women in this industry face more problems then men do. So one of my most important tips is to not get intimidated by the men in the industry. Also, know yourself and have self confidence in yourself and your capabilities because sometimes it might not seem this way. Furthermore, a very useful and great tip is to find a female mentor that can help you answer all your questions, someone you can look up to and that might understand the struggles you are going through. Another thing that was very beneficial to me when I started my diving career is to become friends with many professional female divers, not only in recreational diving but also in technical diving and freediving. This way, you have a group of friends who understand your new life. Moreover, one of the most important aspects of the diving industry (which applies to women as well as men) is networking. Try to do that as much as possible; it’s all about who you know. Finally, do your research about which diving center you want to go to. Check their reputation, sponsorship, internship opportunities, career options, instructors and ask people who have dived with them before. This is extremely important since your standard of education will depend on them.

Thanks Nancy ….and keep up the good work!

How to Participate
If you’re a diver who is interested in participating in a Women’s Dive Day event, please contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to see if it’s holding an event — and encourage it to get involved if it’s not already. Otherwise, you can find an event or get more information at padi.com/women-dive.

If you’re a PADI Professional interested in hosting a dive or event, contact your PADI Regional Manager!

PADI Women’s Dive Day: interview with Anna Schmitt

2016 PADI Women’s Dive Day is coming up!

With numerous events hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. While the focus is on women, all are encouraged to get involved. It’s a great opportunity to get the women, friends, and family members in your life together for a fun day of diving!

In anticipation of the event on 16th of July 2016, we are interviewing several women who are inspirational to divers and non-divers alike.

Find here below the first in a series of interviews with Anna Schmitt – PADI Course Director at Panorama Divers in Hurghada, Egypt.

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Anna, why and how did you become a PADI Diver?

On my first visit to Egypt, I decided to try diving, as I was obviously in one of the best locations to start my diving story. I followed the PADI DSD programme. From the moment I took my first breath under the water, I realised that my life would not be the same again. A strong desire to discover the undersea world became my ambition.  The more dives I made the more I realised that I wanted to become directly involved in marine conservation issues by making changes and sharing my experiences with others. This really contributed to inspiring me to become a PADI Instructor in the future.

IMG_2284What does PADI mean to you?

It depends on which perspective I look at the question.

During my diving history with the guidance of amazing PADI Instructors, I overcame my anxieties and difficulties in the courses. PADI gave me the most comfortable, safe and easy way to progress through the various diving levels, keeping me interested, confident and eager to learn more.

IMG_2712Now if I look at PADI from my current level as Course Director, I feel responsible for maintaining the high standards set by PADI and to ensure the next generation of Instructors follow the same philosophy. For me PADI is a great support network and provides me with all the educational tools for teaching, encouraging and inspiring new PADI professionals.

What does it mean to you to be a female diver?

Traditionally diving was thought to be a male dominated recreation and profession. Female divers have proved that this is not the case. Being female, I think, brings more empathy and caring attitudes into diving.  Nurturing & protection is a natural instinct to most women, which is exactly my case. Being a female diver, it gives me confidence, independence, freedom and new opportunities to live my dream.

IMG_2746What is your dream dive?

Personally I think any dive can be a dream dive. Entering the water and being at one with the ocean brings peace and tranquillity in a normally hectic & noisy world. The stresses and worries of everyday life are left far behind. My dreams come true every time I dive because I have been given the opportunity to experience another universe under the waves.

WDD AnnaBest moment in diving?

As I begin to descend the first few minutes of any dive are the best moments, when a world of silence surrounds and envelopes me: no expectations, no promises – just being open with your heart and mind, a great opportunity to feel free.

What are your plans for WDD this year?

We have already scheduled our WDD on the PADI web site, so anyone who is interested can join us. We will spend a beautiful day on the boat with female non divers taking the opportunity to try diving for the very first time by conducting   DSD programmes. In the following days, as a special offer, OWD courses will be conducted for all those women who would like to continue their diving experiences. We haven’t forgotten about some female divers who may not have dived for a while, so Scuba Reactivate programmes will also be available.

IMG_2670As a PADI Instructor, do you have any suggestions for divers for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016?

Very often with the routine of our daily lives we find excuses or reasons to put off until a later date something that we could do now. July 16th could become your day to have a life changing experience, don’t miss this opportunity.

What do you feel are the most important challenges and opportunities facing women in diving?

Women’s dive experience shows, that if there are any challenges in diving, they have already overcome them. So any challenges left are only there, because you believe they are there. Give yourself a green light and go for it.

The opportunities are limited only by how far you want to go: exploration, travel, employment, independence, education both personal & the ability to educate others. Builds confidence & forges friendships.

IMG_6631How can we get more women in the water and involved in the dive community?

Encourage more WDD type events throughout the year. I am sure there must be many women who would love to try diving or would like to get back into diving. Offer “family” dive days as many women have children and these youngsters could well be the next generation of divers. Offer dives and classroom sessions after school hours and special weekend events so that families can attend.

Tips to women thinking about a career in diving?

If you really want to do it, don’t wait go for it! It is a wonderfully rewarding career. Opens the doors of opportunity for travel, to teach & enables you to pass on your wealth of diving experiences. Can allow you to dive in different conditions and climates and to work with other people who feel as passionately about the oceans as you do. Find your freedom, live your dreams.

 

Thanks a lot Anna ….and keep up the good work!

 

Fundraise for Ocean Protection with a Finathon

preview-full-671DT_Finathon_Banners_LinkedinThis World Oceans Day, June 8, rise to the challenge of fundraising for ocean protection with a Finathon® – the ultimate way divers can support ocean protection – fins on and off.

Project AWARE®’s first global Finathon® launched in 2012 as a swimming challenge to raise funds and awareness to protect vulnerable shark and ray species. Since then, Finathon® events have spanned the globe with supporters not only putting their fins on to swim to end shark finning, but also taking part in many other exciting “fins off” challenges such as cycling across Europe, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or even shaving for sharks or donating their birthday.

Check out all the new and updated Finathon tools and resources! Download your Finathon Action Kit today and start your fundraising challenge – fins on or off – for ocean protection!

My PADI – MyOcean – My Hope

Elite Instructor Interview: Chris Azab, PADI Course Director

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Chris Azab, a highly experienced PADI Course Director and Tec Deep/Trimix Instructor, has been diving “a long time” and was awarded the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2015 earlier this year, an award which recognises the achievements of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.

With an impressive 11,000+ dives in her logbook, Chris conducts Instructor Development Courses in the Netherlands and Egypt, teaching in her mother tongue of Dutch as well as English, German and Arabic.

PADI Regional Manager Teo Brambilla caught up with her to learn more about her achievements as a PADI Pro, and what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to her.


chris-azab-studentsWhat inspired you to become a PADI Professional?

Ever since I started diving in 1998, I’ve loved the underwater world and its beautiful creatures. I wanted to show them to other people, so in 2001 I became a PADI Pro.

How do you think you’ve changed – personally and professionally – as you’ve moved up the ranks to become a PADI Elite Instructor?

Personally, I’ve changed my whole life! I was working for a banking and insurance company, and chose a different lifestyle. Since 2004 I have been working full time in the diving industry, making people happy. I’m always proud of what I’m doing; working as a professional teacher, thinking positively all of the time – that’s how I reached the PADI Elite Instructor status.

chris-azab-studentWhich PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most, and why?

I love to teach new PADI Instructor candidates, that’s why I became a PADI Course Director – I see so many positive changes in people. Another favourite is the Tec Sidemount course, it’s great to do dives with more tanks on the side before moving on to further Tec courses.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?

Becoming a Silver PADI Course Director and PADI Tec Trimix Instructor. One day I hope to achieve Gold status, and then Platinum. Teaching people is my passion!

chris-azab3What does diving give you that nothing else does?

During diving, it’s the silence… and then after each dive I love the smile on each diver’s face. And that’s the same for teaching, as well – seeing that smile.

Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now?

When I started my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, the Night Adventure Dive was mandatory, but I really didn’t want to do it. I reached two meters and quit the dive, but I still wanted to become an Advanced Open Water Diver… My PADI Instructor took me to Marseille, France, and let me try it again. I succeeded – not with pleasure, but I did it. The next night dive I booked was during a holiday in Egypt, and from that moment forgot my fears and I’ve found night diving great ever since.

chris-azab2Do you believe you change others’ lives through teaching scuba diving?

Absolutely. Students change from shy to confident, and I’ve had students suffering from depression turn into positive and active people. Some become PADI Instructors, quitting their jobs and travelling around the world. Some even started their own PADI Dive Center. I’ve given students the power to overcome any fear, I’ve given disabled students freedom, and helped people become positive. That’s why I want to do this job as long as I can – it’s amazing to change lives.

How does it feel to be recognised as one of PADI’s Elite Instructors in 2015?

It’s a result of hard work… being a real PADI Professional with quality teaching. I’m proud of it!

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors?

Follow your heart and your dream. You are your only limit.

And finally, what does “my PADI” mean to you?

“My PADI” is my way of living. It’s a lifestyle, supported and promoted by PADI and I’m proud to be a part of it. I want to follow this lifestyle as long as I can. It’s not always easy, but I’d still choose this life. It’s an adventure as well, so let’s go for it. I remember the words from my PADI Open Water Diver course a long time ago and they still count; meet people, go places and do things. So, for now, I’m on my way to Malta…


Find out more about the 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award.

Find out more about Chris Azab via her website.