From Zero to Hero – Learning to Swim and Scuba Dive as a Migrant Adult in Australia


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PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, Nadia Azizabadi took outing from her busy schedule to talk with us about her expertise shifting from a landlocked nation to the island of Tasmania, Australia. We spoke of how she taught herself to swim and about her work passing on her love of the underwater world to migrant and refugee adults.

Are you able to inform us just a little bit about your self?

My identify is Nadia Azizabadi, I'm from Tehran, Iran and have been dwelling in Tasmania, Australia for greater than 6 years. I’m a PADI Open Water Scuba Teacher, scientific diver, Women That Scuba Ambassador, AUSTSWIM teacher, nationwide group participant for Tasmanian ladies’s underwater rugby workforce and underwater hockey Grasp workforce participant. 

Once I first got here to Australia I might barely swim and deep a part of the pool was a nightmare for me. Nevertheless, I educated myself each day, confronted discrimination and spent a variety of money and time going headed within the improper course till I found the trail towards my objective.

I need to assist individuals turn into the hero of their yesterday and thru my migrant-focussed swim-school initiative From Zero to Hero, this dream has develop into a actuality. I consider the important thing to a robust group isn’t having extra migrants, it’s about having joyful and wholesome migrants each bodily and mentally.

What do you keep in mind about your first scuba diving expertise?

My first attempt dive was my first time getting into a deep swimming pool so I had combined emotions of hysteria, pleasure, worry and delight. Now that I'm an teacher myself, I can say I used to be a terrified scholar, to the purpose the place my teacher even advised me: “You recognize what? Scuba diving is just not for everybody!” This made me much more decided to show to myself that he was improper.

One other good reminiscence is finishing my first night time dive throughout my Advanced Open Water Diver Course. Leaping into the darkish ocean was scary and I used to be actually anxious doing an enormous stride. I assumed to myself, “when it’s the scariest, is if you to face it and leap, in any other case you need to go house and by no means come again.” I’m glad I selected to take the leap that night time, as a result of now night time diving is my favorite sort of diving.

What's From Zero To Hero and the way do you assume this has impacted the broader group?

From Zero To Hero is a specialised aquatics schooling initiative program focussed on migrant adults to information them via the journey of studying about water security and sport. Programs vary from these for non-swimmers and proceed by way of to programs and coaching for these trying to grow to be a succesful water sport participant. These programs embrace (however will not be restricted to) scuba diving, freediving, snorkelling, spearfishing and underwater hockey.

This system focuses on refuges and different teams of the group who might not be capable of afford swimming courses. I consider that water security information shouldn't be depending on monetary conditions and that entry to free classes on the best way to be protected in and across the water is paramount, particularly on an island like Tasmania or on the larger island of Australia.

Why do you assume it’s necessary for individuals to hunt journey via diving?

For me, scuba diving is a life lesson. By way of my Open Water Diver course, I've learnt that in any dive emergency you must “STOP, THINK and ACT.” That is one thing I attempt to implement this to my on a regular basis life.

I used to be taught that in a shore dive, when the waves are too massive and the floor of the ocean is just too tough, I ought to put my fins on, have my regulator in my mouth and as quickly as I slip under the floor it might be a lot calmer. This mind-set has helped me to face my largest worry and go into it absolutely outfitted and as soon as I'm deeply into it, by calming myself and remembering to “By no means Maintain My Breath”, the storm would move.

As a pacesetter in your group, how do you encourage divers to be torchbearers for the setting?

Individuals study by observing. I attempt my greatest to be a task mannequin for non-divers and new divers. The primary slogans from my ‘From Zero To Hero’ program are “be the hero of your yesterday” and “be the change you need to see locally”. By this, I imply that each one modifications begin from us. If everybody can do can do their bit for society, we might have a happier and more healthy group of individuals and subsequently a more healthy setting. I additionally repeatedly manage underwater clear ups and PADI AWARE Foundation actions to boost consciousness for setting points in my native space.

Are there any graduates out of your swim faculty who've gone on to start out scuba diving?

The primary spherical of this system in collaboration with a group group for migrants had 20 younger refugees full their Discover Scuba Diving course and, now that I'm proudly a PADI Open Water Scuba Teacher, a few of my different college students are on the brink of do their Open Water Diver course quickly.

Share Your Hope Rising Tales with #PADIPeople

Hope is rising throughout. Present us how you make a distinction, and the way you consider that higher days which might be potential proper now by way of diving. Merely publish descriptions, photographs or movies to your social media, tagging PADI and #PADIPeople.

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