PADI introduces 2024 ‘Superheroes for the Ocean’ – Scuba Diver Mag

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PADI Worldwide has announced the latest set of international AmbassaDivers to join its team. “In each of their own unique ways, our new AmbassaDivers stand out and lead by example, inspiring others to step up, pursue their passion and be superheroes for the ocean,” says Senior Director of Brand Julie Andersen. 

“They are shining examples of how to protect what you love – and inspire others to do the same.”

The AmbassaDiver programme was launched in 2015, with the personalities intended to form of a global team committed to raising social and environmental issues and encouraging more people to experience, explore and protect the underwater world. To that end divers selected tend to be those with a wide reach on social media.

Earlier this year Indian actors Sonakshi Sinha and Zaheer Iqbal were announced as inductees, and no fewer than 29 more divers have now been introduced:

PADI AmbassaDiver 
Mariyam Firusha

Mariyam Firusha (Vaikaradhoo Maldives), born and raised in the Maldives, is the first and only female scuba instructor from her island so far. After participating in a Discover Scuba Diving experience in 2021, she found her passion (and her husband!) in the ocean. Only six months after her Open Water Diver certification, she became a PADI Instructor and left her job in a call-centre to work as a PADI Pro.

India Black

India Black (Poole, Dorset, UK) is a content creator, broadcaster and wildlife and marine conservation advocate, having taken part in marine and turtle conservation efforts worldwide. She is also a part-time well-being mentor and physical therapist who works with young people with eating disorders and learning differences.

Radhika Sharma

Radhika Sharma (Delhi, India) is a content creator who has shared her full-time worldwide travels as a featured TEDx speaker. This scuba diver is also a paraglider and skier and aims to inspire people to follow their hearts outdoors.

Leng Yein

Leng Yein (Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia) is a PADI Divemaster and Mermaid Instructor with 17 years’ dive experience, a government-licensed tour guide, the face of several charity organisations, and has held the title of Asia’s #1 Female DJ for more than a decade.

Giosue Reale

Giosue Reale (Siracusa, Italy) started scuba diving at 11 and is now a water sports instructor with a mission to spread awareness of British coastal wildlife. He is also passionate about showcasing diverse shark species worldwide and helping to change people’s views on these animals through his underwater videography.

Mariana Saad Vargas

Mariana Saad Vargas (Ponta Grossa, Paraná, Brazil) is a 10-year-old PADI Junior Open Water Diver who loves animals and nature, travelling and outdoor activities, especially scuba. She also loves reading, art and Harry Potter and wants to inspire other young people to discover the underwater world.

Kritika Goel

Kritika Goel (Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India) is a content creator who turned her passion for travel and photography into a way of life. She wants to let her audience explore through her lens and inspire people to step outside their comfort zones.

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller (California, USA) became a diver in 2012, then a scuba instructor and started the Azul Unlimited dive business in Mexico, followed by Indonesia. This is now an online brand for sharing scuba lessons and van-life adventures on YouTube to build a community of “safe divers and ocean protectors”.

Laura Quesada

Laura Quesada (Madrid, Spain) became a Junior Open Water Diver at 10, travelled the world as a PADI Instructor and has been sponsored by Cressi since 2019. She wants to educate her students in caring for the ocean and is passionate about macro life, especially nudibranchs.

Kayleigh Slowey

Kayleigh Slowey (Teignmouth, Devon, UK): has spent most of her life by the ocean, cultivating a love for marine life early on. Armed with a Marine & Natural History Photography degree and a Master’s in Marine Ecology she has enjoyed adventures worldwide, using digital creation in her ocean conservation work.

Karol Yela

Karol Yela (Pasto, Nariño, Colombia) is a PADI Divemaster who aims to promote environmental awareness and the importance of sustainable practices in the diving community. She is also a sports training specialist.

Sara Gojer

Sara Gojer (Bangalore, India) is a DJ who travels the world spreading her enthusiasm for scuba diving and shark conservation. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Instructor.

Katt Andryskova

Katt Andryskova (Geneva, Switzerland) is a science educator, scuba diving instructor, freediver and marine photographer living and diving the Great Barrier Reef. Her first breath under water came aged 12 and she spent 11 years working as a PADI Instructor in Cambodia, Comoros and Australia. She created Ocean Pancake to empower ocean-lovers and activists to create positive change through her podcast and YouTube channel.

Jessica Pita

Jessica Pita (Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa) is a student majoring in Psychology and Anthropology and, through social media, she shares inspiring, humorous and everyday moments in the life of a blind girl, often highlighting the challenges and lack of inclusivity faced by individuals with disabilities. She uses her heightened senses of hearing and muscle memory to excel in various sports, including not only scuba diving but show-jumping, and plays multiple musical instruments.

Jillian Taylor

Jillian Taylor (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) is a wildlife scientist and ocean enthusiast currently completing a Master of Science degree on the Atlantic puffin, a bird that shares her love of the frigid North Atlantic. She enjoys showcasing the rich biodiversity of colder sea and believes that “conservation starts with the details: it is hard to protect a species unless you know the name of it”.

Tyrell Crosby

Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, Nevada, USA) is relatively new to scuba, but after his professional career as an NFL offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions was cut short by a severe spinal injury, he recovered from surgery to discover that diving could provide an alternative, both in terms of physical challenge and mental clarity.

Aakash Malhotra

Aakash Malhotra (Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India), also known as Sky, is an adventurer and travel-content creator listed in Forbes India’s “Top 100 Content Creators 2023”, and has a passion for extreme sports including scuba diving, sky-diving and snowboarding. He aims to encourage Indian adventurers through “immersive storytelling and professional education, fostering a culture of fearless exploration and celebrating diverse landscapes to embrace thrilling adventures”.

Luciana Maldonado

Luciana Maldonado (Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina) discovered scuba diving eight years ago in Indonesia while seeking ways to heal herself, and decided to leave her career at a sports TV network and move to Mexico to embark on a diving career, advancing from Open Water Diver to Instructor. She continues to teach diving and collaborates with marine biologists and conservationists to create educational programmes.

Mariam Al Saif

Mariam Al Saif (Kuwait) claims a deep-rooted connection to the sea from her pearl-diving ancestors while growing up on the shores of Kuwait. She found scuba diving in her 20s, and developed a passion for the ocean and conservation. This and her love of solo travel led her to found MER, a community uniting divers through travel and shared underwater adventures.

Prachi and Harsh

Prachi & Harsh (Mumbai, India) are a couple whose mission is “to redefine exploration, infusing it with conscious purpose”. Through sharing their travel adventures, they aim to inspire fellow-Indians to discover the ocean for themselves. On their Two Tickets to Freedom social media account they document their travels, scuba experiences and conservation efforts, and are also GoPro India Ambassadors and TEDx speakers.

Expedition Rove

Expedition Rove (Houston, Texas & Yorkshire, UK) consists of husband and wife Andy & Mary Hannah, who have explored more than 45 countries in their Land Rover. They were certified as Open Water Divers in Cape Town only in 2023, but say that scuba has quickly become one of their favourite on-the-road activities.

Manami Azuma

Manami Azuma (Nara, Japan) fell in love with the ocean after scuba diving in Okinawa, began joining in on beach clean-ups and soon saw underwater clean-ups as an activity able to bring joy and purpose. She used crowd-funding to help open a dive-shop called Dr Blue to raise awareness, and through her activities as a diving instructor, activist, writer and speaker, and her upcycling efforts, says she wishes to prove that one step from 100 people is more effective than 100 steps from one.

Yumi Shirai

Yumi Shirai (Kanagawa, Japan) first went scuba diving as a high-school student in Sydney and went on to found a non-profit environmental organisation called MORE Planning, the acronym standing for “Mountain Ocean River Earth.” Its activities include not only cleaning up trash from the sea and inland waters but also that dumped in mountains and on shorelines.

Viridiana Alvarez Chavez

Viridiana Alvarez Chavez (Aguascalientes, Mexico) was the first woman on the American continent to climb the world’s five highest mountains (Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu). She also holds the Guinness World Record for fastest ascent of the three highest mountains using supplemental oxygen – but her next project is all about the oceans.

Hiroshi Sato

Hiroshi ’Kuma’ Sato (Sanriku, Japan) saw the devastation caused to the sea where he worked as a scuba instructor when the 2011 tsunami hit the coast near his hometown. He founded Sanriku Volunteer Divers to collect the marine debris it left behind and to help clean up the seabed. They are still doing clean-ups but also now undertake seabed restoration and seaweed farming. 

Captain Jason Chambers

Captain Jason Chambers (Canberra, Australia) gained fame as a superyacht captain on a US TV reality series, Below Deck, and knows how to decompress from a high-pressure job. “When you’re under water, it’s the ultimate escape,” he says. Also a professional athlete and PADI Rescue Diver, he devotes time to Classroom of Hope, a non-profit foundation dedicated to rebuilding 100 schools damaged in the 2018 Indonesian earthquake with materials made from recycled plastics.

Kundai Murapa

Kundai Murapa (Harare, Zimbabwe) channelled a childhood love for superheroes into becoming a professional film stunt performer, and his fascination with The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo piqued his interest in life under water. He engages in parkour, calisthenics and rock-climbing as well as scuba diving and, as a certified fitness expert, created the TraceFit Method training system.

PADI AmbassaDiver projects, dive adventures and conservation efforts can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and X.

Also read: PADI on the hunt for new AmbassaDivers, Parineeti Chopra becomes PADI AmbassaDiver, PADI unveils first 11 Eco-Centres, PADI Pillars of Change

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