Congratulations to the three winners of the I Heart My PADI Pro contest – Jennifer Lane, Melissa Leonard and Sally Watson.
The I Heart My PADI Pro contest took place in February and March 2014 via the PADI Facebook page. PADI Divers were asked to nominate the PADI Professional who they felt made a positive impact on their own diving and the wider diving community. The contest saw hundreds of entries which nominated PADI Pros from all over the world for their actions, which ranged from expert education through to supporting the underwater environment and helping aspiring divers to overcome fears.
The three winners were chosen by PADI staff in recognition of their outstanding commitment to PADI values and education, going beyond the call of duty to help students of all abilities, and their dedication to the wider diving community.
Jennifer Lane from Florida, USA nominated PADI Master Scuba Diver Training Anna Blevins (also from Florida) as her favourite PADI Professional. Anna’s entry said:
I live in Tampa, FL and there are a LOT of divers that come here – to dive, cave dive, free dive, etc… Naturally, there is a lot of risk with taking out large groups of divers – especially around the springs and the Gulf. Anna is an amazing instructor because she focuses on safety and doesn’t take large groups or what we call, a cattle call. She makes sure new and experienced divers are aware of their surroundings and feel comfortable. I haven’t heard a single person feel uncomfortable with her. She makes sure that you understand your equipment and gives you more than a crash course that some of the competition does. Anna also has helped me appreciate a variety of scuba experiences including shark tooth diving, spring diving, boat diving and more. Anna just started her own PADI dive shop with her family in South Tampa and will do amazing things – including introducing a dive club with regional speakers on a variety of scuba topics, a conservation movement for Project Aware, and many others.
Melissa Leonard from Germiston, South Africa nominated PADI Master Instructor Braam Le Roux (from Centurion, South Africa) as her favourite PADI Professional. Melissa’s winning entry reads:
My Instructor, Braam Le Roux, is the best, because he is professional and he is a pro at what he teaches. He is confident, knows what he is doing and he is safety conscious at all times. He is patient and someone to depend on. When a diver makes a mistake, he does not put them down. My instructor sees the potential of every person and he encourages them and helps each diver to reach it. My instructor does not only teach able-bodies, but he is also specially trained to teach disabled people to scuba dive. He makes a massive impact in the lives of disabled divers. He is caring and kind. My instructor opens and introduces a “new world” to the disabled people. This changes the lives of disabled people completely. My instructor always does his best to make scuba dive trips an unforgettable experience and even goes the extra mile to include disabled divers on the trips that he organises. I will always be thankful towards my instructor for the difference he made and is still making in my life.
Sally Watson from Victoria, Australia nominated her favourite PADI Pro as Sharene Collett, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Training also from Victoria, Australia. Sally’s winning entry is as follows:
Sharene is the best instructor in any field I have been involved with. I am not only a Dive Master, but I am an Equestrian Coach as well and over the last 30 years I have been trained by some of the best instructors Australia has to offer and Sharene offers the best tuition, with care and attention to detail. Nothing is too hard for her when you are being taught by her. She offers not only scuba diver training, but First Aid training as well and even during a First Aid course, she makes it fun and well worth going too. She takes the best of people and makes them better divers, by example, with encouragement. Sharene turned me into a PADI Dive Master from a diver who thought it could not be possible, I am so pleased she did. I had 100 dives logged when I met Sharene, in only 2 1/2 years I have over 300 dives logged. The opportunities Sharene has opened for me and other divers is just amazing.
Jennifer, Melissa and Sally have each won a PADI eLearning course, and their favourite PADI Pros’ also bag a fantastic PADI prize package too! Congratulations to all of them!
As the biggest Facebook Page dedicated to divers with over 1 million fans, the PADI Facebook Page is committed to providing great scuba diving articles, news, inspiring photos, videos and a collection of other scuba and underwater content. Look out for the next PADI Facebook Contest from 1st May!
If you live to scuba and want to turn your passion into a dream career, why not become a PADI Divemaster – the first step of being a PADI Professional. Speak to your local PADI Dive Center or Resort today to find out more!