I was holiday in Thailand when I discovered the underwater world. I initially tried scuba diving and was amazed at the fact I could dive 18m deep with oxygen tanks to support me. I then found out that people were diving deeper without the need of any breathing apparatus and I couldn’t believe them. That’s when I researched more and found the sport of free diving. I can say that this was one of the most pivotal points in my life. Being able to go past 10, 20 even 30 metres below sea level with one breath I knew that this sport / adventure was right for me.
It taught me strength in the mind, strength in commitment and overall strength in living. I wanted to learn my limits whilst also furthering my spearfishing abilties. And I have now furthered my abilities and understanding thanks to Freediving Gold Coast. I can’t recommend them enough!
Adam Bothwell is an Assistant Instructor with Freediving Gold Coast. Adam moved to Queensland from Melbourne at the start of 2020 with the desire to pursue the sport of freediving and everything that it involves. Since then, he has enjoyed the countless routes one can take to perfect all angles of the sport, as well as the constant challenge – both mental and physical. The lifestyle that leads to a healthy body and mind and the friends to be made cannot be understated.
Grant Faber is an Assistant Instructor with Freediving Gold Coast. He leads a typically busy modern life, juggling family and work commitments, while still making time to pursue his personal interests. With this perspective Grant understands there isn’t always time to get everything right, and that small victories and continuous progress add up over time.
Jono Maher is an AIDA 4 Master Freediver and Assistant Instructor with Freediving Gold Coast. I am also a tradesman working a full-time job in Brisbane and am always keen to get out on the boat and in the water for a training session whenever possible.
I have a background in SCUBA with dives numbering in the hundreds, my Rescue Certification and am also an ADAS Level 3 Commercial Diver so you can see I love the ocean and being a part of it. =)
I transitioned over to Freediving after Jack Michael introduced me to it whilst we were on a trip to Mexico diving in the Cenotes there.
I absolutely love the sheer challenge involved with Freediving and whether it be starting off learning to dive those first few metres or mastering the finer advanced techniques to achieve the deeper depths I love the fact that there is always pleasure to be had with nailing the little steps along the way.
There is no end in Freediving and it really is about the journey.
Freediving to me has also become a large influencing factor in my life and has led to me being more aware about a lot of things ie Food, Fitness and daily choices.
Someone once said to me “SCUBA is about looking out and Freediving is about looking in” and I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.
With more awareness and making healthier decisions Freediving has led me to a more positive outlook and a more positive life in general.
I have begun to partake in competitive Freediving and am looking forward to setting new distances/times and bit by bit pitting myself against my past self.
I feel my future in Freediving is involved in the teaching side of it and I really enjoy the opportunity to pass on knowledge to any aspiring Freediver. The community is extremely helpful, and you can be but a question away from learning a new technique or finer nuance from any of the others involved in Freediving.
Jo’s sporting background (gymnastics, athletics, skydiving) held her in very good stead when, at the ripe old age of 48 and in the name of ‘rehab’ post knee surgery, she decided to ‘take the plunge’. Taking to freediving like the proverbial duck to water, leaving her only to ponder… “Why did I not tick this off my bucket list WAY earlier??!!”
Jack is an Assistant Instructor with Freediving Gold Coast, and 2 time New Zealand national record holder for the dynamic bi-fins pool discipline. Jack was first introduced to freediving during a trip to the Gili Islands while putting off going home after an extended trip away in Africa and Eastern Europe, and was instantly hooked and rebooked his flights home to allow for more time diving.
Jack has a background as a competitive swimmer when he was younger, and has always loved the ocean and being in and around the water. When he moved to Brisbane, he got involved with Freedive Gold Coast for the deep dive days, and started pool training with the Brisbane Bullsharks. The competitive side of the pool training kept him motivated between ocean dives, and he then completed his AIDA 4 Assistant instructor qualification with Freedive Gold Coast in April 2019.
Jack loves freediving because it’s a sport that pushes you physically and mentally past what most people know their body is capable of, and requires you to really understand your own body and mind to be able to succeed. It is just as much about self restraint as it is about pushing yourself, and that’s pretty unique.
Jack loves to see new freedivers accomplish things that they never thought possible, whether it’s through a static breath hold they didn’t think was possible, or diving to a depth that seemed unreachable before, and is planning to do his instructor training early 2020.
Jack also loves that freediving makes it easier to swim around chasing fishies and swimming after turtles while listening to the whales sing. The ocean is a pretty amazing place.
I’m an Assistant Instructor (AIDA 4 Master Freediver certification) with Freediving Gold Coast. I had a strong interest and fascination with being underwater, from a young age, and I was introduced to spearfishing at the age of 14 where I grew up in Burnie Tasmania. Wet suits weren’t around then, 58 years ago, in 1961 so we shivered uncontrollably after each dive, and just accepted it, we didn’t know any different. I kept up spearfishing in Melbourne at Cape Schank from 1965 to 1969, before going to live in Vancouver Canada, where I did Scuba diving. I also did a Stuntman course and qualified in car chase, horse falls, saddle falls, western bar room fights, fast draw with Colt 45, and high falls from buildings. Had a few injuries, one quite scary.
After marrying Yvonne, the love of my life, I decided to come home and be a more ‘responsible ‘person and assume a normal lifestyle (lol). At age 33, while living in Melbourne, I got the running bug, and developed a love for distance swimming, my longest swim was 16 km. I competed in Australia’s first Triathlon in I980, and ran several marathons, best was 3 hrs and 58 seconds.
I moved to the Gold Coast in 1982, and pursued Triathlon until I got hit by cars twice, and suffered a broken hip from a bike accident. I decided to just focus on running and swimming. The bike had to go! I ran a lot of half marathons (PB 1:22) and a lot of 10Km runs (PB 44 mins).
I taught spearfishing to my 2 sons and still yearned for more breath hold knowledge. I met Sebastien Murat in 2006, and he gave me training, especially in FRC (Functional Residual Capacity). A few years later, I met Frank Gearon who encouraged me to hook up with Clint and Cristy, and as they say, the rest is history! I’m 72 and I run 50 km a week, and swim 3 days a week. I have completed Aida 2, 3, and 4. Ups and downs in my first two Freediving Comps were a STA 6 mins 10 seconds but a DNY DSQ SP.
Freediving to me is very relaxing (except when competing!). I feel very much ‘at home’ underwater, especially on exhale. I look forward to assisting students in pool and ocean training, as I like to encourage newer divers in this sport, and help them to enjoy it as much as I do. I retired from work 9 months ago, but not retired from passion in life!