On 21 May, we invite you to join together with dive buddies new and old to celebrate what unites us: our shared love of the underwater world. 

PADI was founded on the fundamental belief that aquatic environments should be accessible to all. Today, we continually strive to foster an environment of openness across the dive industry with a shared understanding that ‘underwater we all speak the same language.’

Established in 183 countries, PADI Dive Centers and their divers are arguably one of the most diverse communities in the world dedicated to a single goal: exploration and protection of the ocean. 

Women’s Dive Day happens each year in July, now representing the single largest day of diving action in the world. This day has supported a significant overall growth in female divers over the past decade. 

A group of divers jump in unison on a beach after a dive

Building on the success of Women’s Dive Day, we are excited to add Diversity in Diving Day on May 21st to the annual diving calendar. Diversity in Diving Day aims to recognize and celebrate all members of our global community, including those who fall outside of typical diver age groups, identify as LGBTQ+, overcome physical/mental challenges to access diving and/or enter diving from cultural, racial or geographical backgrounds that have historically had less access to the underwater world. 

May 21st is a day to take a page out of Black in Marine Science’s book and discuss the diversity and inclusivity challenges that still need addressing to make diving more accessible and to collaborate on solutions for a better future. It’s a day to invite non-diver friends to join us for a try dive, sharing and showing them what diving already means to you and what it could mean to them one day. Above all, it’s a day to form new connections and gather your community together – however you define it – and celebrate your connection with each other and the ocean.

The more communities that become scuba-centric, the more Torchbearers we can create for the ocean. As Sharanya Iyer, a PADI AmbassaDiver from India, states, “My goal is to get more Indians into the water world so they can each be ambassadors for ocean conservation in their spheres of influence.”

PADI AmbassaDiver Sharanya Iyer sits on the side of a boat in the tropics
Image courtesy of Sharanya Iyer

6 Ways to Get Involved this Diversity in Diving Day

Ready to dive into Diversity in Diving Day this May 21st? Here are six ways you can get involved.

1. Invite your Non-Diver Friend or Family Member for a Dive

Do you have friends, parents, kids or siblings that you think might enjoy diving, but who’ve never tried it before? Maybe they never felt diving was an option for them, and all it’ll take is an invitation from you for a whole new world to be unlocked. This simple act could inspire a life-long love of ocean exploration, grow the community of ocean torchbearers and enable one more person to feel like there is a place for them in the diving world. 

2. Look for Local Diversity in Diving Day Events

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts all over the world are hosting events to celebrate their existing communities and invite new divers to the underwater world. Is your dive center hosting a special dive trip or a social event? Check it out and get involved! 

A group of differently abled divers pose together holding a sign that says, "We no longer see disabilities; we see possibilities."

3. Become an Adaptive Support Diver

Do you want to learn how to best support a dive buddy who has a physical or mental challenge? The PADI® Adaptive Support Diver course will increase your awareness of divers’ varying abilities, and the course explores adaptive techniques to apply while diving or freediving with a buddy with a disability.

4. Celebrate your Community on Social Media (Use #divingday!)

Share pictures and videos that show what your diving buddies, dive center and wider community means to you. Shine a light on who you are and help other potential divers like you see that they too are welcome in the diving world. As they say, “You can’t be what you can’t see!”

three divers are standing on a boat in the tropics giving the hang loose sign. They look very happy and excited.

5. Find a New Buddy with PADI Club™

Enjoy 20% off select PADI eLearning programs, a FREE ReActivate online refresher, a subscription to Scuba Diving magazine and so much more when you join PADI Club. Keep up to date with the latest in diving and join exclusive events and meet ups.

6. Support Charities that Enable Greater Access

We recognize the many PADI divers who start or engage in initiatives that increase access to diving for all, such as The Black Mermaid Foundation. Look out for ocean access programs in your local area, or get inspired to start one! If you’ve been thinking about starting something, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for!

Zandile Ndhlovu, the Founder of The Black Mermaid Foundation and a PADI AmbasssaDiver from South Africa notes, “Start where you are, doing what you love, speak to the people around you, your community and in your home. Why? Because we can only save our ocean together.”

PADI AmbassaDiver Zandile Ndhlovu freedives through a kelp forest in South Africa
Image courtesy of Zandile Ndhlovu

Diversity in Diving Day is for everyone. So don your mask, grab your dive buddies and head out into the water to celebrate your community. Be sure to contact your local PADI Dive Center to see what events are scheduled in your area. And, on May 21st, post about your underwater life so we can follow along on social media.

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