|About the club|
Sydney Freedivers, a New Era
Sydney freedivers was formed in late 2007. Its broad purpose was to practice and promote safe freediving in Australia.
Freediving means diving free of any breathing apparatus. Freediving is the basis of many underwater sports and activities, from recreational snorkeling, underwater photography through to spearfishing. It even has an application in big wave riding, preparing surfers for lengthy “hold downs”. However, in recent years freediving as a sport has expanded across the world and there is now a fast growing interest in Australia.
Over the last 10 years there had been a few attempts to begin a freediving club in Sydney with no success. After another effort faded away in 2007, a plan was formulated to handle the points where the club formation failed in the past. It took team work. With support from the few long term freedivers in Sydney, and the North Shore Underwater Club( the local spearfishing club) Sydney Freedivers was born.
In October 2007 Sydney Freedivers held its first meeting. Interest was high and over 20 people attended.
Ant Williams an internationally high ranking New Zealand freediver did the first training session on setting and meeting goals. The club was off to a good start.
Attending the inaugrual meeting from left to right was Timmy Forster President of NSUC (07/08); Ted Lougher Owner of Fathom Dive shop and supporter of Australia's 2002 Pacific Cup freediving team; Ant Judge local freediver and Sydney Freedivers first president (07/08); Nathan Watts experienced local freediver; Ant Williams a leading NZ freediver and Wayne Judge meeting coordinator.
Sydney Freedivers began its existence as a pure freediving club based on the international standards of AIDA. With only a few members in the early stages the club began its first year with two executives: President and Safety Officer. This was deemed the minimum required to lead and maintain the safety of the fledgling club.
Up and coming freediver Ant Judge took on the role of President for 2007 while Chris Harding shouldered the responsibilities of Safety Officer. Under their leadership the club expanded fast until some nights the local pool was crowded with up to 15 freedivers training. Training spread to other pools in Sydney and currently Sydney Freedivers are regularly training in 5 pools around the Sydney centre and suburbs.
The 2009 club elections brought in a full team of execs to manage the now expanded club. Ant Judge retired from presidency to concentrate on his training. The 2009 club positions are as follows:
President: Wayne Judge
Safety Officer: Chris Harding
Club Secretary: Luke Dolan
Treasurer: Sina Schieweck
Sports Secretary: Jasmin Bastow
Sydney Freedivers has run one Club Competition (club records and ranking only) on Dynamic Apnea with 3 more club pool comps planned for the year. Also plans are in place for 2 AIDA sanctioned pool competitions for later in the year.
With big swells, currents and relatively shallow water on the coast of Sydney Constant Weight has not had the attention of the pool exercises. Steps are now being take to remedy this with shore based freediving for the less experienced divers up to 30m in depth and with charters being negotiated to take the club off shore for the deeper dives.
The Australian Freedivers Association (AIDA National) arranged an AIDA Judge Course delivered by Grant W Graves. This was delivered in March to 7 trainees. Having so many judges available gives freedivers in Australia the ability to run competitions and have them standardly judged with results recorded in national and international rankings. This is a huge step forward for the sport. Many thanks to AFA execs: Ben Noble and Walter Steyn.
Sydney Freedivers has now 4 new International AIDA "E" level judges: Jasmin Bastow; Chris Harding; Ant Judge; Wayne Judge.
Sydney Freedivers also congratulate the other 3 new judges in Australia: Mary-Anne Stacy (AUF Training); Louise Dixon; Bjorn Nielsen.
Bjorn and Louise drilling
With the number of enquiries and the amount of enthusiasm shown for the sport Sydney Freedivers can look forward to a strong and active future. Whether it is for personal fitness and satisfaction; or to improve ones quality of diving and heighten ones underwater experiences, Freediving is an exciting sport and one of the few where science has not kept up with athletic achievment. There are also freediving athletes and champions amongst the population of Australia, they just need to be trained and recognised.
Sydney Freedivers for depth, distance and time.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 April 2009 15:32 )|