This weekend DDI celebrated three years of activity in Portugal. The celebration took place in a city of the Algarve, called Tavira, thanks to the outstanding work and effort of people like Dr. António Almeida Pires who has believed in DDI and dive for all from the start supporting DDI Portugal in so many ways, making it possible for people like me to go and enjoy and feel the unquestionable benefits and pleasures of diving.
On the morning of the 22nd we went diving to a spot called Pedra Rasteira with one of the DDI Dive Centers existent in Portugal, UDiving – Dive Center in Tavira. I went in the amazing company of my friends Mateus Mendonça, the responsible of the Dive Center, Vânia Jorge, member of the outstanding UDiving team, as well as Guilherme, our skipper, Flemming Thyge, Vice-President and Founder of DDI, Paulo Guerreiro, who represents DDI in Portugal and Ana Gago an OWD DDI diver like me.
I was born an able-bodied & loved dancing, rode bikes & threw myself off planes doing free falls but I was always afraid of swimming in the deep ocean.
My fear is that- I can't see the bottom & it also didn’t help that I was exposed to the movie 'Jaws' at a very tender age! Then in 2002 I was involved in a car accident & became a Paraplegic. I made a list of things to do after my operation & one of them believe it or not - was to scuba dive!…..Yes, me who was afraid of the deep! But all that changed when a close friend was sharing about his love for scuba diving & I said…..let's do it!
(…Water discriminates no one…)
Members of the Malaysian Paralympics Team (Perwira K9 Group) were provided with an opportunity to be part of the No Barrier Tour – Try Scuba Dive. This event was organized by DDI Instructor Sanjay Vaghasia and Malaysia’s 1st DDI Level 1 OW diver Ms Ras Adiba Radzi and was conducted at the PJ Palms Swimming pool.
All six participants were very excited & charged up during the session as they got to experience first-hand on how it feels to breathe and move underwater freely. This is a big step for them as they all have different levels of disabilities.
Mr Mohamed could not stop smiling after his pool dive, having experienced a state of weightless while in water. A selected few are considering to explore further to complete their OW DDI course, in the near future.