Freedivers offer early in-water learning

Divers planning ahead for ways to teach their offspring in-water safety skills might care to know that freediving’s international governing body has announced the launch of its AIDA Youth Programme for children aged from six to 15. 

The programme consists of four certification courses, each lasting at least 3-4 days: Bronze, Silver and Gold Dolphin (ages 6-11) and AIDA Junior (12-15).

The training is designed to develop competence and confidence, says Swiss-based AIDA, and is skills-based but with no performance requirements – a “maximum performance limitation” is recommended for each course.

AIDA says that the programme was developed by its education, medical and new youth committees, individual instructors, a legal expert and a sport psychologist.

The concepts of “breath-holding” and “freediving” are excluded to prevent competitiveness, with children instead learning “breath control” among other skills.

13 May 2020

Sections dedicated to educating parents on proper supervision of children and adolescents in the water are included in each course. 

Active AIDA Instructors can qualify as Youth Instructors by passing an online course that gives access to all the required materials online.

AIDA describes its training programme as having “a conservative approach, creating a safe and enjoyable teaching and learning experience for instructors, children and adult guardians”.