By Jo Walters
Excitement reigns as preparations are underway for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016, PADI’s second annual celebration of women in diving, taking place on 16 July 2016. This event recognize women’s contributions to diving throughout history and provides special opportunities for more women to enter the sport of diving today.
The groundwork was laid last year when divers from all over the world came together to celebrate PADI’s first Women’s Dive Day – and made history in the process! The occasion brought together more than 6,000 divers from 65 countries on all seven continents – all participating in more than 335 special events. Now, plans are underway to do it all again this year on 16 July 2016 – so don’t miss out on one of the most exciting events of the year!
Female Icons and Legends
Although diving is sometimes erroneously perceived as a “man’s sport”, PADI history is full of female dive icons and legends who paved the way for today’s divers of both genders, with many of those icons participating in last year’s events. For example, shark expert and PADI Course Director Cristina Zenato, who developed the PADI Caribbean Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty course and started a campaign that resulted in the complete protection for all shark species in the Bahamas, participated by offering a special shark dive for certified women divers and a special Discover Scuba® Diving day for women to give them the opportunity to try scuba diving.
Another iconic participant was Sarah Ward, professional archaeologist and tutor for the Australian Institute of Maritime Archaeology. Sarah, who dives on-the-job around the world and says that without her PADI certifications she wouldn’t be able to do what she loves, participated in the 2015 Women’s Dive Day by teaming up with a local PADI Dive Shop in Australia for a dive on Long Reef in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and an all-day beach barbecue.
Discover (or Rediscover) Diving at PADI Women’s Dive Day
On 16 July 2016, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, dive clubs, and other organizations will offer a host female-friendly dives or events, ranging from shark dives to beach cleanups to special speaker engagements. Some PADI Dive Shops will also offer the opportunity to try scuba diving through the PADI Discover Scuba® Diving program. Others will focus on PADI ReActivate™, which gives lapsed divers the opportunity to refresh their scuba skills, rediscover the sport they love and reactivate their dive certifications!
However, while the focus is on women, all are encouraged to get involved. Many events are open to both men and women, so this can be a great opportunity to get together with your friends and family members – regardless of gender – for a fun day of diving!
How to Participate
If you’re a diver who is interested in participating in a PADI Women’s Dive Day event, please contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to see if they’re hosting an event – and encourage them to get involved, if they’re not already. Otherwise, you can find an event near you or get more information at padi.com/women-dive.