PADI have announced their winners for the Go Pro Challenge 2007. Now in it’s second year PADI’s Go PRO Challenge seeks to encourage divers to enter the diving industry at the Professional level, while rewarding existing industry professionals for their ongoing commitment and enthusiasm in developing and teaching the next generation of scuba divers.
The winners are:
– Doug Barr, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer from Aberdeen, Scotland (PADI International)
– Joo Hee Han, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer from Seoul, South Korea (PADI Asia Pacific)
– Pierre Gobinet, PADI Master Scuba Diver Training from Creuzier le Neuf, France (PADI Europe)
– Andrew Statler, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer from Liberty, Missouri, USA, (PADI Americas)
– Nobuyuki Higashiura, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer from Aichi, Japan (PADI Japan)
Winners are recognized for their accomplishments and collectively receive more than $40,000 US in cashrewards and prizes.
PADI International winner Doug Barr, who learning to dive in 1988, explains how he quickly fell in love with the sport. “I enjoyed diving so much that becoming a professional was a natural progression. I wanted to give something back as I’d had so many positive experiences through diving and also felt that I could take action and have a role in educating divers to protect the aquatic environment. “
As well as being a professional engineer for an Aberdeen oil company, Doug as an independent PADI Professional runs a dive business/club, together with some good friends. Relying strongly on word of mouth, he runs monthly dive trips to the west coast of Scotland and other destinations.
When he first heard about the Go PRO Challenge, Doug felt that instructors teaching in larger dive centres and resorts would have an advantage, however this inspired Doug to just keep doing what he does but aim to do it better all the time! Soon Doug had achieved the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating and was well on his way to racking up Go PRO Challenge contest points by earning additional specialty instructor ratings and issuing corresponding student diver certifications.
Ultimately Doug credits his success to all the people he’s met in diving through the years who have been a source of inspiration in their individual ways. But his main inspiration and mentor is PADI Course Director, Clive Albon, who he met through club diving activities. Clive was able to inspire Doug as a result of his enthusiasm for the sport and conducted Doug’s PADI Instructor Development Course as a result!
Doug is proud of winning the contest, but that’s not what motivates him to teach diving. “At the end of the day,” Doug reflected, “the main motivator for me is seeing the happy faces in my mind’s eye when students pass. I like to shake their hand underwater and see their faces on completion”.
His plan for the winnings includes a new BCD plus a nice holiday to share with his very supportive partner – though he may be teaching diving while he’s there!
The Go PRO Challenge contest continues in 2008 with two contests to enter: the Go PRO Challenge Professional Ratings Contest, where divers are rewarded for getting PADI Professional ratings and issuing diver certifications, and the Go PRO Challenge Testimonial Contest, which will reward $10,000 US to the PADI Professional who submits the most compelling story via video or captioned photo as to why he became a PADI Pro.