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!