Statements from candidates for Aida Board Election

Please see below; statements from the volunteers written in regards to the Technical and Education Officer positions for better understanding the plans and ideas of these candidates.

TECHNICAL OFFICER

Antero JOKI

Antero Joki“I recognize that there is a lot of pressure to make amendments to the rules, but it is not working as it should currently. I would like to see regular revisions of the rules, for example annually or twice a year and with a transparent process where all AIDA nations can give suggestions and input, and the technical commission takes into consideration that input and acts (approves, rejects or alters) these modifications and implements them in the rules. Currently there is just random discussion on forums such as deeperblue and no one picking up on that to make it formally into the rules. This process could be much, much better. We’ve seen a lot of progress in areas such as Education in AIDA lately, but the rules could use a breath of fresh air – and it is after all the most important function for the competitive section of our sport.

Maintaining the rules is not the job for one person, so even though I have personal opinions as an athlete of certain rules, my first act as Technical Officer would be to establish a working Technical Committee, a good team and working processes for the future. I don’t expect miracles overnight, it will take a lot of work but building a good foundation is absolutely essential to AIDA. Another theme where I would like to put some effort is the quality and education of judges. It is not enough just to update rules, we need to ensure also that all of our judges are knowledgeable of the changes, rules and procedures expect of them. I would like to see more emphasis put on communicating to judges and their continuous education even after the eventual judge course.

As a long term goal I would like to start a conversation with CMAS to make the rules for competition compatible and easier for divers from each organization to compete in either system. We are still very small sport and growing will be much harder if there is two World organisations competing against each other. It can be too big step to take mentally for these organizations but it will be worth trying in the background.

The ultimate goal, which may seem like a dream now, would be to see freediving in Olympic games one year. But we must have dreams.”

Antero Joki 100 m constant weight dive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e_n0cABHb8

Pim VERMUELEN

Pim Vermeulen“If elected I like to continue the work I started on the rules development, a job that will never finish. Over the past period new things evolved in freediving safety (and education) and the rules need to be adapted to this. Furthermore there is loads of work to be done streamlining all older documents, the previous TC, where I was part off, made the start with the rules but now all technical documents need to revised urgently as development stopped the past 2 years. As part of the Executive Board I like to help setting up AIDA for the future, for me being a board member doesn’t stop with the position I am applying for (Technical Officer) but also means being part setting up AIDA’s future. A future with further growth in getting our beloved sport known for the bigger public but not only limited as sport. Freediving is a way of life for many of us but it is also a recreational activity for others and AIDA will have to find a balance in that. Also a future where AIDA Worlds Championships will get professional like we have seen this year in Kalamata. Championships where all is done to, not only create the perfect atmosphere, but also the possibility to create the best possible circumstances to perform in.”

EDUCATION OFFICER

Jean-Pol FRANCOIS

Jean-Pol Francois“As most of the AIDA Board and Assembly Members know me and my commitment to AIDA since many years (16 or 17 years) I’ll do my best to run the EC with the actual members. I will not plan any revolution within the Education but will keep going with the good evolution and I will try to implement some steps into a more profesional organisation for the full benefits of AIDA freedivers.
I definitely will not do everything by myself and will work as hard as I can to ensure a real motivation from our volunteer members, which will be already a huge challenge.
The officer title doesn’t matter to me, work must be done and the team within the EC is a good one.
Also, the help from new ITs will also be very appreciated for some of the EC projects.”