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Maverick Freediver Mike Wells joins RAID International Team

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RAID

Mike Wells, the former International Training Director of Freediving for Scuba Schools International (SSI), has joined RAID International.

Here is the official press release from RAID:

 

mike2

 

Mike Wells needs no introduction to the diving world as his records and achievements in the art of Freediving are well known globally. As the former SSI International Training Director of Freediving, Mike conceptualised and wrote the world’s first mainstream Freediving program and in doing so effectively transformed the once cult-like pastime consisting of just a handful of participants into a safety focused, structured, mainstream sport that is today accessible to the masses.

Amongst his many dive industry and personal achievements, Mike also cofounded the iconic World Series Freediving (WSF), providing participants of the sport at all levels access to a spirited and well-run competition platform.

In just a few short years, Mike’s achievements have resulted in thousands of new certifications globally and some respected dive industry observers rightly argue that Freediving is today diving’s largest growth area.

Mike’s passion for the sport has revitalised and provided new income streams for existing dive centres along with new specialised Freediving facilities now opening in popular Freediving destinations. This global Freediving industry has in turn influenced key manufacturers to create Freediving products to feed this new and highly exciting section of the market.

mike3When asked “why the change?” Mike said: “life is all about new challenges and my passion for Freediving has always been about making the sport accessible. So far, we have only dealt with the tip of the Freediving iceberg and I just know there are hundreds of thousands more people out there that want to get involved. Freediving is a rapidly evolving sport and therefore RAID’s focus on online training is just what is needed to take Freediving to the next level. Their revolutionary eTraining system makes the accessibility problem a no-brainer and we are not tied down to printed materials which means we can be extremely dynamic in the way we evolve the training as new research and techniques come to hand.

Importantly many of the RAID team are my friends who had the faith in me when we were getting this out of the ground.  RAID is a team of divers who understand exactly what is needed to drive the sport and give me the freedom to get the job done. I am excited about putting my ideas into a new program.

Mike has been appointed to the position of Director of Freediving for RAID International effective July 1st.

In commenting on the appointment, Paul Toomer, RAID International Director of Training said: “Having Mike join the RAID International Team demonstrates, and once again proves, that more and more of the industry visionaries are unafRAID of change so I am extremely thrilled to have Mike with us”.

Terry Cummins, RAID International Director of Business, said: “Mike joining our RAID Team is fantastic news for us and the dive industry generally. Bringing an icon like Mike on-board RAID clearly illustrates that RAID has all the core products within the dive industry extremely well covered; our department heads are very experienced people who really know what they are doing and further illustrates, along with all our other unique features, that RAID is certainly a viable alternative to other training agencies out there.”

Full details of RAID’s plans for a revolutionary new approach to Freediving  will be announced shortly. Watch this space……. 

For more information about RAID International, visit their website: www.diveraid.com

 

Dive Training Blogs

How Scuba Diving can help you overcome physical and mental challenges

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This International Disabilities Day (December 3 2022) PADI is reminding the world of the healing aspects that the ocean (or any body of water) can provide us all and how important of a modality 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 is also healing.

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, launching their Adaptive Techniques Diving Course in the hopes that all of humanity can experience the full transformational power the ocean offers us.

While many are more familiar with traditional therapies, whether it be diving, mermaiding or freediving, people around the world have been forever changed by connecting with the water – conquering mental or physical perceived limitations.

There are an estimated one billion people on the planet that have a physical and/or mental disability – imagine the power that diving and immersion can have on this population if awarded the opportunity.

PADI’s history is replete with people whose lives have been transformed by connecting with the water because they were able to experience and explore the underwater world through PADI programme and certifications. PADI’s approach to diver education has always been inclusive and is a key pillar to their Pillars of Change.  Everyone who meets prerequisites is welcome to join the global community of 29 million+ certified PADI Divers.

PADI created two courses that focus on increasing awareness of varying diver abilities and exploring adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training and diving with physically and mentally challenged divers: the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty and the PADI Adaptive Support Diver course.

These courses further expand Instructors’ and Divemasters’ abilities to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. Here are the various ways PADI helps those with disabilities overcome all their challenges by connecting them with water:

1. Improved Muscular Movement, Light Sensitivity and PTSD Symptoms

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found, “veterans with spinal cord injuries who underwent a four-day scuba diving certification saw significant improvement in muscle movement, increased sensitivity to light touch and pinprick on the legs, and large reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.”

2. Lifts Your Mental State and Mood

Did you know that the ocean air can literally lift your mood?  “The sound and vision of the ocean lift our mood,” says consultant psychiatrist Dr Arghya Sarkhel. “The touch of sand and the smell of a seaside breeze leads to relaxation. On a biological level, this audio-visual stimulus incites our parasympathetic nervous system—that activates ‘rest and digest’, as opposed to ‘fight or flight’,” he says. Now scientists are quantifying the positive cognitive and physical effects of water and the improved sense of physical health and well-being.

Equally diving into the therapeutic benefits that diving can provide is Jeffery Puncher, Director for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottowa. He is currently developing a virtual reality diving programme to help his patients find relief from stress and anxiety–using calming scenes of coral reefs and the swaying seas along with the soothing sounds of bubbles beneath the surface. This programme is currently being used with medical students, residents and faculty, with the goal of growing it to be adopted nationwide to help also support the psychological health of first responders.

3. Provides You with a Sense of Peace

Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, has done extensive research on the ocean’s unique ability to induce a state of what he calls the “Blue Mind” in human beings. Blue Mind is a mildly meditative state characterized by calmness, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. Nichols states that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and heal us on a deep level.

4. Enhanced Physical Movement

Being in the water allows you the opportunity to experience a feeling of flexibility and freedom that those with disabilities would rarely get to experience on land. This is because on land the muscles become restricted by the force of gravity. But in the water, that sensation drifts away and is replaced by the freedom to feel the freedom of movement.

5. Confidence and Control

The freedom of enhanced physical movement in the water also provides a sense of increased confidence and control. They can explore beneath the surface just like able-bodied people can do, which equally increases their own self-belief and feelings of empowerment.

6. Anxiety Relief

Those with disabilities who equally suffer from anxiety can find tranquility beneath the surface. By having to focus on your breath and being in the moment, all of the mental stress that can come with having a disability is no longer top of mind and instead allows for an escape in which you can truly enjoy the moment.

Find out more at www.padi.com

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Gear News

Scubapro Winter Promo: free gift!

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Buy an EVERDRY 4.0 dry suit and receive a K2 Light undersuit set for free!

Divers can look forward to the cold-water season this winter, as SCUBAPRO is offering a free K2 Light undersuit set (top & pants) to all scuba enthusiasts who purchase an EVERDRY 4.0 neoprene dry suit by 15 January.

The EVERDRY 4.0 is a high-quality dry suit made from compressed neoprene. It combines the slim fit, comfort and flexibility of a wetsuit with the warmth and tightness of a dry suit.

The K2 Light Set is the ideal undergarment for neoprene dry suits. Its light grid plush material reliably holds the warmth where you need it in cold waters. The Everdry’s elastic wrist loops and heel strap suspenders keep sleeves and pants in place under the suit. Available in men’s and women’s sizes.

A combination that turns your cold-water lake into a hotspot!

For more information visit the Scubapro website.

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