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Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016

A pool competition with a difference will be held from November 10th to 11th at The Griya Villas and SPA in Amed, Bali. The concept is to combine a static competition with an environmental project to raise awareness about the plastic pollution problem that Indonesia faces. Agata Bogosz, Polish professional freediver and manager of Fusion Freediving and Yoga spoke to about this great initiative.

Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016
Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016 Why did you decide to create this event?

Agata Bogusz: The idea of this competition had been in my mind since our Fusion Freediving Pool Cup in July. I was also inspired by my spearfishing friends and their competitions. So I thought – why not use the competitive nature of people for a good cause? I met with Valérie Derbaudrenghien from Trash Hero Amed and The Griya Hotel and SPA to discuss with her my idea and as we both got pretty excited about it, we decided to organise the Fusion Breath Hold HERO Challenge. It is a combination of two challenges – one is a trash clean-up of Jemeluk Bay and the other one is official AIDA and Pure Apnea static apnea competition. It’s open for everyone – freedivers, scuba divers, tourists and locals, anyone who is keen on supporting the cause. The more people participate, the more trash we can collect from our bay.

DB: Do you have take part in the static pool comp and clean-up?

AB: Not at all. We’d love to have as many people as possible help with the clean-up of Jemeluk Bay. It would be great if everyone who loves the ocean helps pick up trash every day, even when they’re on holiday. Taking part in the clean-up costs $10 which includes a donation to Trash Hero, a mesh bag for the clean-up and a t-shirt. Prizes will be available for people who pick up the most trash.

Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016
Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016

DB: Tell me more about the plastic problem in Amed/ Indonesia?

AB: The first time I faced an endless floating waste of plastic trash in Jemeluk Bay at the beginning of the raining season last year. It was a cold shower for me. I had seen pictures of Hawaiian ocean of rubbish before, but my mind couldn’t process it. And then one day “in tropical paradise”, I was trapped in the middle of an enormous rubbish island floating around me and my students. “It’s real” I thought. “It’s f***ing REAL. And ENORMOUS. Ooooooh shit”. And that woke me up from my “magically disappearing-rubbish European bubble”. Nope. It’s not. And I am also responsible for creating that problem. Ooops.

Jemeluk Bay is important for Amed and all of its residents. Keeping it clean and protecting the marine life is in the interest of the whole local community – locals, expats, and tourists.

The problem is so enormous and it doesn’t affect just the ocean. It’s everywhere. Rubbish is being dumped around because the waste management is still in its infancy in Bali or Indonesia. We can try to minimize our personal impact by everyday environmental friendly choices or to help by supporting initiatives like Trash Hero or ROLE Foundation.

I think we all can find a way to do something in that field. Even small actions matter. For example all of our students at Fusion are kind of brainwashed with “no plastic bottles / bags / straws” ideas as we emphasize the impact of them on the ocean and sea life.

DB: What is your long-term plan / vision with regards to plastic and environmental education in Amed?

AB: Reducing the impact of tourism is part of the solution. And we can play quite important role here by educating our students, increasing their awareness and teaching them good every day habits and environmentally friendly ways of travelling as well. We would like to continue our close cooperation with ROLE Foundation and Trash Hero. Eco-freediving education of local kids is one of the next steps on my list.

DB: This is your 2nd pool event this year? Do you have plans to host a depth event any time soon?

AB: Due to sea conditions in Bali and the small number of pool competitions nearby we decided to focus on pool events. The Freediving community is growing fast and we would like to give more opportunities for local freedivers to compete, get official results and gain experience.

DB: Does Fusion support any other environmental initiatives?

AB: We’ve been supporting ROLE Foundation for a few years. And this year we started cooperation with Trash Hero.

DB: If people don’t have much time to train for static, what advice would you give them?

AB: I would advise them to come anyway and get experience in competing, watch other freedivers during their performances and do “official training” with a professional safety team around. This is great training by itself.

Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016
Fusion Breath Hold Hero Challenge 2016

Competition Details:

Yvette Bezuidenhout
Yvette Bezuidenhout
Past life: scuba instructor. English teacher/ freediver. Author of Wayan and the Turtle King, a children's book on the effects of plastic on the marine environment.


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