The Maldives participated in the fourth annual PADI Women's Dive Day on Saturday, with over 50 local female divers who enthusiastically dove into the event.
This marks the third time for the archipelago to take part in this special dive organised by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which brings together the female dive community from around the world to bond and share their love for the ocean and marine life.
Participating from Maldives are the members of "Moodhu Goyye", an unofficial community of local women with a shared passion for water sports.
"This year we have 50 certified female divers taking part in the PADI Women's Dive Day, in addition to five local instructors and four dive masters - all female," PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem and Dive Instructor Shaziya Saeed told The Edition.
The event began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m., with two dives scheduled. The first dive, according to Shaziya, was at 'Lankan' near Paradise Island Resort, while the second was at 'Furana North', a dive site off the coast of Furanafushi in capital Male Atoll.
Noting that Moodhu Goyye continues to attract more women towards the field of water sports, Shaziya expressed hopes that participating in the PADI Women's Dive Day event would bring more women of all ages on board Scuba Diving.
"Since all the dive guides at this event are women, we're hoping to not only engage more ladies in recreational diving, but show that there are great opportunities for them in this field," she said, further highlighting that two out of the three PADI-certified local course directors in Maldives are women.
"The field of diving is a very positive one here," agreed Zoona. "There is a lot of support for female divers."
Thanking various sponsors and dive centres that supplied the equipment and boats for the Women's Dive Day, Zoona and Shaziya declared that they were looking to reach new heights with the local female dive community in the future.
"One of our future plans is to break the world record for most women Scuba Diving together, here in Maldives," revealed Zoona. "We want to make the record by a substantial margin."
PADI introduced the Women's Dive Day in 2015, and it has continued to gain momentum as both new and experienced divers geared up for the events, which range from beginner to advanced dives as well as underwater cleanups.
PADI Pros America reported that female certifications are noticeably increasing every year, noting that over 880 events were hosted in 85 countries just last year for the Women's Dive Day.