This month sees two huge milestones for us at Girls that Scuba. Not only are our inaugural GTS ambassadors handing over their roles, we’re also celebrating the fifth birthday of our wonderful community! Whilst it’s been a fairly dry year for many divers, our ambassadors have had some incredible achievements and have played a key role in keeping the spirit of Girls that Scuba alive.
What better way to celebrate than letting the ambassadors tell you, in their own words, what this role has meant to them? In sharing their stories and their inspirational attitudes towards women in diving, we hope they can offer up some inspiration for the next five years of Girls that Scuba (and beyond!).
Read on to learn about the types of women they’ve connected with, what our ambassadors have learned about women in diving, and their hopes for our future GTS ambassadors.
When we created our ambassador program, we wanted to cultivate a sense of support and community within the ambassadors which could extend to the wider group. Inka most definitely experienced this, sharing: “I think for me the thing that was the most amazing about being a Girls that Scuba ambassador was the chance to interact and learn from the other ambassadors. Having such a global representation meant that I had the opportunity to engage with women who had faced a huge variety of different struggles entering the dive industry, very different from my own.”
As well as connecting our ambassadors online, Girls that Scuba connects women in diving in real life, too. As our group grew over the last five years, members wanted a way to recognise other members ‘in the wild’ outside of the online space, and so our Girls that Scuba merchandise was born. Inka sees this as a great way to interact with like minded divers. She says, “If you spot that Girls that Scuba logo it’s fantastic to know that you always have a friend there and there’s someone that you can go and chat to, and you have that shared interest of our oceans.”
To see where Inka’s incredible wildlife filmmaking career takes her, follow @inkacreswell on Instagram.
Mariam Al Saif
Mariam played an incredible role in spreading the message of Girls that Scuba outside of the diving world, telling us: “I’ve gotten so many opportunities ‘cause of this, like getting featured on Nike, getting featured on Marie Claire, and I just feel so whole knowing that Girls that Scuba is amazing at just having everyone feel included and seen.”
Within the scuba industry itself, Mariam’s message is about celebrating who you are. She said, “I just want to say to everyone that is in the dive industry that you are allowed to take up space, and this includes women of colour. Please, just know that we are entitled to take up as much space as we want.”
Mariam is looking forward to hosting her dive trips outside of her home of Kuwait in the next year, so be sure to follow her adventures on @divewithmer
Much like Mariam, Jessy is also passionate about showing that all women are welcome in the diving world. She told us, “Being an ambassador from an amazing scuba dive community is a huge opportunity. I get a chance to show the world that every woman – including a Muslim hijabi like me – can do scuba diving.”
Jessy shared, “I feel so lucky and proud to be part of this amazing community,” and we hope that all of our Girls that Scuba members feel the same. To keep up with Jessy ‘The Flying Mermaid’ as she dives around Indonesia, follow @juzzyliciouss on Instagram.
Representing diverse groups of women was a common theme amongst what our ambassadors enjoyed about their role. Irene said, “I was super happy and proud to be a GTS ambassador here in Montréal Canada, and to be able to represent the larger women who […] don’t always feel comfortable or welcome.”
As well as representing larger women in scuba, Irene also wanted to extend this comfortable and welcoming environment to the LGBTQIA+ community. She shared, “As part of the queer community I just love to be out there and be like ‘Hey, we exist, and we also dive!’”
Follow @irene_la_sirene for more of her diving and freediving adventures, as well as her work as a PADI Course Director!
As an active member of our community, we knew Jan would be an incredible fit as one of our ambassadors. However, she was hesitant when we first approached her. Jan said, “When GTS invited me to be one of their global ambassadors [in] July of last year, I almost declined the opportunity because I felt safest being invisible as a trans woman. Nonetheless I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to represent, so I ended up accepting this invitation with a resounding yes.”
We’re so glad that Jan changed her mind, not only for herself but for the other trans members of our Girls that Scuba family. She shared, “This opportunity has also opened up conversations to other trans people sharing the same dive anxiety, and just being able to reach out to them and help them in any way I could was a blessing to me.”
Check out Jan’s diving adventures over on @misswallflower84 to be as inspired as we are by her passion for diving against debris in Cebu, Philippines.
As our most technically advanced ambassador, Maria was keen to use her role to show that women in diving can achieve any goal they set their minds to. She told us, “I was so eager to show the community of female divers that technical diving is absolutely accessible for us. There are so many opportunities when it comes to exploring caves and wrecks and rebreather diving, and there is just so much out there that is obtainable.”
As well as being a diving role model, Maria has demonstrated incredible resilience this past year as her Xunaan Ha cave diving expedition has been postponed not once, but twice. Keep up with her on @bollerup_gonediving as she finally takes on this adventure in 2021.
For ambassador Amber, it’s all been about lifting up other women in the scuba industry – a concept which is at the heart of Girls that Scuba. She said, “I take such pride in being able to help other female divers. Female divers that have disabilities, female divers trying to work in the industry, because we know there are not enough women in this industry.”
Over the last five years of Girls that Scuba we’ve played a big part in celebrating women in diving, and we hope that we can continue this mission for many years to come. Be sure to say hello if you spot Amber on a dive boat in her home state of Florida!
Ambassador Euna has loved her time being inspired by the Girls that Scuba community, telling us, “It’s helped me a lot and pushed me through whatever projects I want to do for this year”. After spending time the past year teaching more young women to dive in the Solomon Islands, Euna will be focusing on teaching her local community about the important issues of ocean trash.
Follow her at @zioeuna as she shares with young people how they can reuse and recycle ocean plastics.
Grace’s experience as a Girls that Scuba ambassador really encompassed all that we hoped the role could offer. Grace shared, “This role has given me so many opportunities, like being on multiple diving podcasts and working with amazing amazing brands like Waterlust and Fourth Element, […] but my favourite part has to be that I’ve got to interact and meet some really really cool people.”
Grace also shared a big change that they’ve seen in their time as a diver, telling us: “Walking around a dive site and seeing it full of Girls that Scuba is something that just didn’t happen, I didn’t see [it] eight years ago when I started diving. So now it just shows that as a community and an industry we are actually getting somewhere”. This is such a positive impact, and we hope that we can continue to see even more women at dive sites in the years to come.
Head over to @scuba.grace on Instagram to see where Grace’s dive adventures take them next.
Nouf is a certified instructor from Saudi Arabia, and the first Saudi female technical diver. She is the creator of two platforms to promote diving in the Red Sea – ‘Redseacitizen’ and ‘Pink Bubbles’ – which aim to encourage more Saudi women to start scuba diving. She is also Nike’s modest swimsuit athlete and has featured on swimming campaigns around the world.
Are you the next GTS Ambassador?
Whether it’s working with brands, inspiring women in diving, or bonding with an incredible group of water women, we can’t wait to offer these opportunities to our next cohort of Girls that Scuba Ambassadors. Whilst our first batch of ambassadors were handpicked by the GTS team, this time around we want to hear from you!
Have you been waiting to play your part in sharing the Girls that Scuba mission of inspiring diverse women in diving? Apply to be a part of the next Girls that Scuba ambassador team here!
Whether you’ve been here for the whole 5 years or just the last 5 weeks, what’s been your favourite memory of being part of the Girls that Scuba community? What changes do you want to see in the next 5 years of GTS? Let us know in the comments, on Instagram @girlsthatscuba or in our Facebook group!