Scubaverse’s freediving editor Steve Millard reports on the North of England’s first AIDA freediving competition
Rebecca Coales, trained by the freedivers.co.uk group, managed to extend her own record from 120 metres to 134 metres distance underwater swimming doing just breast stroke. The total dive time took 2 minutes and 52 seconds at the Huddersfield Stadium health and fitness complex run by Kirklees leisure kirkleesactive.co.uk/stadium on Sunday the 17th November. It was overseen by internationally qualified judges from the main Freediving agency, AIDA International.
Rebecca is a yoga teacher and uses a wide range of yoga techniques in her training to build physical strength for swimming, mental focus and relaxation. Rebecca said “The competition atmosphere was very relaxed and so focusing on my dive felt easy. My main problem has been shaking off a winter cold in time for my performance”. Rebecca prepares for her dives with gentle stretches, music and a deep guided relaxation. She is a founder member of the Bristol Freedivers group and also trains with a local fin swimming club… omdiver.co.uk/ bristolfreedive.org.uk
A number of athletes from around the UK came to Huddersfield to compete in one of three disciplines. Dynamic apnea with Fins (DYN), which is swimming horizontally, as far as one can, wearing a single mono-fin or bi-fins. Dynamic no fins (DNF), swimming as far horizontally as one can with breast stroke. And static apnea (STA), lying stationary holding your breath for as long as you can. Each discipline has a point score, the highest point score wins, simple. We also have depth disciplines but this competition just concentrated on the pool.
Other notable results were a 152 metre swim from Bart Lubecki of our Liverpool club using a mono-fin. Masa Sorn took the overall second place turning at 150 metres, also mono-fin propelled. And 5 minute 10 second breath hold from relative newcomer Jason Amson-Orth, and a 4 minute 46 second breath hold from Deb Gaskell, who only started freediving in the last few months.
As Freediving grows steadily in the North of England, we have been running professional courses and have had groups operating for well over a decade. Freediving however isn’t just about competition; it is also an enjoyable recreational activity taking us to all parts of the country. freedivers.co.uk started in Manchester but we have clubs in Liverpool, some in Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland and Crewe with people travelling to us from far afield. There are many opportunities for people to start to try Freediving nowadays. It is a great sport for increasing fitness and losing weight, as a confidence builder for Scuba divers, for snorkelers we can give you an improvement in style and ability helping those wanting to explore the reefs on holiday and of course it holds the exciting possibility of records for those who have good swimming style.
Freediving is an extremely personal sport, you do your own dive on the day, but at the same time you never dive alone without someone properly looking after your safety. I think this, in part, is one of the reasons for the strong, welcoming community spirit within the sport, and all divers encourage the best out of their peers whatever their goal may be.
This competition was also be a good opportunity to make sure every wrinkle is ironed out of the background organisation for the International competition we have on the 22nd/23rd March 2014 in Liverpool. We have some camera testing to do to make it really special. Here is the intro video from this year’s competition, youtube.com/watch?v=ZcgHwawzYE0. Videos of Huddersfield will go up on the Apneists UK facebook page in the next couple of days: facebook.com/Apneistsukfreedivingcompetitions
Contact us, and come and join us for training, recreational diving or competition.
Apneists UK Head Coach
AIDA Instructor Trainer
AIDA Education Committee
AIDA UK Chair
Indo siren destroyed by fire
Indo Siren, a vessel from the Master Liveaboards Fleet, has been destroyed by a fire this morning. Thankfully, all guests and crew members are safe.
Master Liveaboards have released the following statement:
During our current cruise in Raja Ampat, on the morning of 30th November, a fire broke
out on Indo Siren. At the current time we are still assessing the events around the incident,
and will be working with authorities, so cannot currently comment further.
All guests and staff departed the boat, without further incident. They are now with our
ground crew who have organised accommodations while we assist with all their other
needs going forwards.
We are currently evaluating the issues created by the fire on upcoming trips. Guests who
are likely to be affected by enforced cancellations or changes will be contacted in due time
when plans are finalised.
We are incredibly grateful that this incident was not more serious and that everyone who
was onboard, both crew and guests, are safe and well.
The healing powers of adaptive diving
PADI highlights how scuba diving helps enrich and heal lives
This International Disabilities Day (3rd December) PADI is reminding the world of the healing aspects that the ocean (or any body of water) can provide and how important it is for helping those with physical or mental challenges improve their wellbeing. From simply being within close proximity of it or diving beneath the salty surface for an underwater adventure, the ocean has the power to heal.
Regardless of your age, ability, or even limitations, the ocean can benefit us physically, emotionally and even spiritually. This is why PADI is on a mission to make those benefits accessible to all, with their Adaptive Techniques Diving Course in the hope that all of humanity can experience the full transformational power of the ocean.
While many are more familiar with traditional therapies, diving, mermaiding or freediving, has changed the lives of those around the world by connecting with the water and enabled them to conquer mental or physical perceived limitations.
The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course is unique in that it’s a pro-level specialty designed to educate and empower PADI Professionals who wish to make scuba and freediver training more accessible.
Through classroom, confined water and open water workshops, dive professionals further cultivate their ability to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. This hands-on training increases awareness of differing abilities and explores adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training divers with physical and mental challenges. PADI Pros learn to adapt course content to accommodate virtually any student diver.
PADI Members Helping those with Disabilities
This International Disabilities Day PADI highlights a shining example of a member who is championing teaching those with disabilities how to dive.
DiveHeart Empowers Individuals Worldwide Through Adaptive Scuba Programmes
DiveHeart, a PADI Dive Centre founded by PADI Scuba Instructor Jim Elliott in 2001, continues to revolutionise the world of adaptive scuba. Using zero gravity and adaptive scuba, DiveHeart aims to instil confidence, foster independence, and elevate self-esteem among individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges.
DiveHeart has established Adaptive Scuba programmes across North America and the Caribbean and reaches global destinations including Malaysia, Australia, China, Israel, and the UK. Through a combination of donations, grants, and strategic partnerships, DiveHeart ensures inclusivity by providing services to children, veterans, individuals with ALS, autism, and others, irrespective of their abilities or financial means.
A significant milestone in DiveHeart’s journey was the hosting of the inaugural Adaptive Scuba Symposium in 2009, held at the prestigious Our World Underwater event in the Midwest. This pioneering symposium attracted a diverse array of experts, including researchers, physicians, professors, therapists, adaptive dive professionals, and participants from across the globe. The event delved into the current state and the future of adaptive scuba, scuba therapy, the adaptive scuba market, the latest in adaptive scuba training techniques and the latest in scuba therapy research.
At the forefront of adaptive scuba initiatives, DiveHeart offers specialised training courses for certified scuba divers to become adaptive dive buddies. Every diver with a disability is paired with two dive buddies to form a cohesive dive team, ensuring a safe and empowering experience.
DiveHeart further hosts regular pool diving programmes catering to divers of all skill levels nationwide and organises immersive week-long adaptive diving trips to ocean locations like Cozumel, Roatán, and others at least three times annually.
Jim Elliot, the Founder and President of DiveHeart, a scuba diving instructor since 1997, recognised the transformative potential of adaptive diving for individuals with physical disabilities. Witnessing firsthand the holistic benefits encompassing physical fitness, emotional well-being, and mental health, Elliot embarked on a mission to make scuba diving accessible and empowering for all.
DiveHeart remains committed to breaking barriers and creating opportunities for individuals facing challenges, enabling them to explore the vast wonders of the underwater world while unlocking their true potential. For more information on DiveHeart and its impactful initiatives, visit www.diveheart.org
People Who Have Healed from Diving
For people with disabilities—whether they use a wheelchair, have a sight impairment or a neurological condition like cerebral palsy—scuba diving can be a fun activity that offers freedom and mobility in the weightlessness of the water. PADI’s Adaptive Support Diver specialty is a course designed to teach friends and family adaptive techniques for diving with a buddy who has a disability. Many students take the course to support a particular person in their life, and the instructor can work with them on the specific skills they require.
Ryan Chen: Diving to Heal the Mind, Body and Spirit
Ryan is a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver who was in a tragic accident as a teenager that left him paralysed. He found healing and clarity through scuba diving with his dive buddy Kent Yoshimura – so much so that during one scuba diving trip he and Kent ended up creating their current company Neuro Gum – a collection of functional gum and mints that help you get energised, calm or focused that has now led him to be named on Forbes 30 under 30.
“Scuba diving was one of the ways I learned that I can do anything, I just have to do it differently,” Chen says, “Scuba diving is one of those things that can change your whole framework. There’s no cooler feeling than taking that first breath underwater. All of a sudden you have this superpower, to breathe underwater and explore.”
Scuba diving continues to be his physical and mental therapy he continually seeks out amidst his busy entrepreneurial life. Now, with Neuro a national success and leading wellness brand in the United States, Chen has kept up his diving, and remained close to PADI as an organisation. Neuro even has a collaboration with PADI’s coral reef restoration project coming up—a special pack of Neuro, with proceeds going to PADI’s non-profit foundation.
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