As a new Course Director, and especially a female one, I was full of enthusiasm to fulfil my role and provide all of my candidates with a unique and positive experience during their professional training to make them the best possible PADI Pros that they can be.
However, when I was contacted by Emma Hewitt from PADI about conducing an OWSI course for an out of status Course Director, my attention was instantly grabbed and I wanted to know more about this unique and rare opportunity.
Upon further discussions with PADI I was told that this was no ordinary out of status Course Director but she happened to be the first ever female Course Director not just in her town or region, but the whole of Brazil and I was completely blown away that I was asked to get her up to speed ready for her Instructor Exam so she could regain her Master Instructor status before having the opportunity to attend a CDTC to once again be a fully-fledged Course Director in her own right.
Renata and I had many conversations in the lead up to her training to arrange logistics (she was travelling from Cornwall to Hampshire for the course) and the materials that she would require as hers were now a little out of date, and in Portuguese. Once all of these details had been discussed and agreed it was time to plan the course itself and the staff needed for its completion.
I had trained two Staff Instructors since becoming a CD and as one of them is my Dive Centre Manager who was needed to look after Ocean Turtle whilst the course was being run, I asked Bettie to assist me throughout Renata’s training. It was to be an all-female OWSI course and we even ended up with two other aspiring instructors, Becks and Teresa, helping during the confined and open water sessions, making us look like the modern day, diving equivalent of the Spice Girls.
The training itself went brilliantly and myself, Bettie and Renata were all able to share our own experiences that benefited each of us. Renata was able to give us an amazing insight into the way that PADI training has evolved during her career and how it compares to now. Watching the videos within the presentations was, for Renata, like watching a group of old friends on the big screen and she was able to share some stories about the people within them!
I was able to give Renata all the latest and up to date information from PADI as I had only completed my CDTC a few months prior to her course and share with her new stories from when I had met the people that she came to know so well during her time working as a CD.
As for Bettie, she, as ever, provided us with boundless enthusiasm and her unique outlook on the world and the ways that she tries to keep all levels of training interesting and innovative for both the students and instructor teams that she works with.
Although the course took place in July, Renata wouldn’t be completing her IE until October when the whole team was reunited again at PADI HQ in Bristol. This was another really exciting and positive occasion for women in diving as the IE was conducted by two female examiners and the candidates were being supported by three female course directors! The IE was a huge success and Renata is once again an in-status Master Instructor.
The whole OWSI course was a really positive experience for all of us and, as it took place around the time of PADI Women’s Day, I hope that it can inspire a whole new generation of women in diving to strive towards the elite, whether it be as an MSD at the top of the recreational path or as a Course Director like me.