My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.

drew_richardsonFor five decades, PADI has changed lives and led the dive community. At first, only divers knew who PADI® was. Then, PADI became recognized by the general public. What’s happened in the last few years is even more remarkable.

PADI has become synonymous with scuba diving. Customers don’t just ask to go diving– as reported by Rod Punshon of Pro Dive Cairns, the world’s first dive center to issue 100,000 certifications, “Consumers are saying, ‘I want my PADI.’”

Incredible. Where did this brand recognition come from? Yes, the PADI Regional Headquarters use public relations, the internet and advertising to continuously recruit new divers (more than one billion impressions in 2015) and send them to you and your fellow PADI Members. But in our 50 years, together we have issued more than 24 million PADI certifications to divers who leverage these impressions with word-of-mouth about the unequalled quality of PADI programs and the unmatched professionalism of the PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors, Divemasters, Dive Centers and Resorts who conduct them. Thanks in part to this force multiplier, the PADI family introduces about one million people to diving annually.

That’s almost two every minute. Because of “I want my PADI,” you live an extraordinary life introducing people to the diving lifestyle. It’s a privilege, and a responsibility because there’s more to it than the business aspect of creating capable, confident divers. It’s about instilling a passion and love for the underwater world into millions of underwater explorers and adventurers. It’s about making the ocean personal – my ocean. That’s “my ocean,” as in “stop dumping eight million tons of plastic daily into my ocean.” As in, “Stop killing 10,000 sharks every hour in my ocean.” As in, “Heal the 500 human caused dead zones in my ocean.”

The oceans are under siege, but thousands of divers have stepped out as their staunchest defenders. This is what we do. We help and defend, because we can, and because we care.

My ocean’s – your ocean’s – survival demands that the PADI tribe moves conservation to the forefront as we engage divers and the world. It depends on all of us – your actions and mine – uniting divers into a global force pushing against ocean dumping, mangrove destruction, shark finning, overfishing and the host of other threats. Together, we can preserve and protect our oceans for the future while we explore and enjoy it.

Thanks to PADI’s recognition, size and reach, there’s no group better positioned to do this (and if we don’t, who will?). United, we’re poised to rise up and lead another 25 million PADI Divers who will lend their voices, votes and vigour to caring for the ocean. With their words-of-mouth, they will help us raise up yet another 25 million to do the same, and so on.

This is where I get my hope. Together, the PADI family can do this, and we will.

By Drew Richardson, CEO, PADI

The post My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope. appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

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