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Straight Talk from PADI CEO: Why We Teach Diving

PADI turns 57 in 2023, and in that time we’ve seen a lot of changes in diving and in the world at large. Change is inevitable and unstoppable: Some changes have been for the better; others not so much. We’ve come to understand more about our world, where it’s headed and what’s needed to constructively adjust its path. Diving has grown from a niche activity by a devoted handful to a diversified mainstream recreation enjoyed by millions in one form or another.

When I first became a dive instructor 45 years ago, I wanted to share my passion for underwater adventure and exploration. You know what I mean: that feeling of discovering something so cool and wonderful that you must share because you are bursting with passion for it.

That still drives me, but now I suspect we teach diving and diving safety because it offers far more. Diving is a transformative gift, but you don’t really know what you gave until they open it. For some, diving expands their world as they experience places and sensations they never imagined; for others, diving unlocks something inside, so they blossom with new purpose and confidence. One family enjoys diving as a special holiday once or twice yearly; it’s another family’s focus that bonds them every weekend. Beyond this, collectively we teach diving because it not only changes people, but because it can change the world for the better.

PADI developed our system of diver training to teach others how to dive by putting safety and responsibility, coupled with educational and instructional validity, first and foremost. Nowadays, through this system, we have enhanced the way the world learns to dive with a purpose-driven mission. That means that both you and I are part of uniting millions of divers, and others, on the focused goal of reestablishing the balance between humanity and the sea. Why we teach diving is what took us from being divers to being dive professionals. This why not only defines everything we do, but is the spark we pass on, igniting purpose in every Ocean Torchbearer. It’s how every year we inspire millions to take their first breaths underwater, find adventure and join us as stewards of seas. And we do this on a global scale – more important than ever as the world’s largest community of divers and dive leaders.

Think about looking back to now from sometime in the future. How do we want now to be remembered? Are we doing all we can now for a preferred future?

Teaching diving gives us the power to leave a legacy of positive change on both the planet’s people and her ocean. I suspect you agree that diving has a deeper purpose for all of us.  Please commit to becoming a Mission Hub and an Ocean Torchbearer. Be generous in sharing what you see, feel and know. Continue to take constructive, thoughtful actions that positively influence the lives of others.

I was never one to leave it up to others to be the one who cares, and I’d bet you can identify with that as well.


Drew Richardson
President & CEO

The post Straight Talk from PADI CEO: Why We Teach Diving appeared first on PADI Pros.

President’s Desk, dive instructor, ocean torchbearer, teach diving, TeachingPADI Pros


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