I AM WATER for Ocean Users
The I AM WATER Team is excited to be growing the diversity of ocean interactions that we offer children and adults.
addition to the Outreach Programmes that we run with schools in Bermuda,
Mozambique and South Africa, I AM WATER is also offering ocean experiences to individuals
who will greatly benefit from developing their existing knowledge, experience
and expertise of the ocean. This is hugely beneficial for these groups, as they
are familiar with the water and know how to swim, but they have never had the
opportunity to use a mask and a snorkel, take a big breath, dive down and
explore below the surface of the water. Simultaneously we are building a
support base where these local ocean users can join the I AM WATER Team on
Outreach Programmes and assist us in teaching underprivileged children to swim
One of I AM WATER’s first commitments is to Surfers Not Street Children in Durban, South Africa. Surfers Not Street Children (SNSC) is an empowerment project for ex street children entering adulthood in Durban, South Africa. They surf as a way to make a break from life on the streets and the ocean is obviously a crucial part of that. Although they are comfortable on their boards and have no fear riding waves, there was a lot of apprehension about going out past backline, jumping off the boat and freediving down on one breath of air. We believe that it is crucial to continue to develop people’s relationship with the ocean and freediving is a fundamental part of achieving that.
On the morning of the 6th of June, the SNSC Team, Sihle, Sandile and both Sfiso’s met at the Durban Undersea Club, nervous but excited to be going deeper into and under the ocean for the first time. After some stretches, theory and breath-hold practice, we went offshore to the Bluff, with the generous assistance from the Durban Undersea Club boat and skipper, Wayne. Initially, Sfiso was reluctant to get off the boat into the deep unknown, but after some encouragement, he was the one who dived down deepest and was the last one back on the boat! By the end of the session, all of the Surfers were comfortable with their first experience of freediving and they all can’t wait to join I AM WATER in the ocean again.
In conjunction with SNSC, I AM WATER established a relationship working with lifeguards and lifeguards in training to introduce them to the underwater world of freediving. What great synergy for these enthusiastic lifeguards to team up with I AM WATER Instructors to further develop their underwater skills and confidence within the marine environment!
We are training the Lifeguards to become ocean ambassadors so that they can join I AM WATER on our Outreach Programmes where we teach underprivileged children to snorkel. These lifeguards are living examples for the children, as they come from similar disadvantaged backgrounds. Ultimately, I AM WATER will be able to utilize their proficiency and skills in lifesaving to assist in our Outreach Programmes and simultaneously enhance their experience of the ocean from an underwater perspective.
Lifeguards, surfers and freedivers share the same environment. I AM WATER believes that by broadening all ocean users perspective we will ultimately build and grow everyone’s enthusiasm and passion to the ultimate benefit and survival of our beloved ocean.