Our 2017 PADI Elite Instructor is Mike Chatwood
Our very own Mike Chatwood achieved the PADI Elite Instructor Award for 2017. This is an amazing accomplishment for a part-time, UK instructor. We spoke to Mike about what keeps him teaching and his journey to achieving his PADI Elite Instructor status.
What is the PADI Elite Instructor Award?
The PADI Elite Instructor Award program recognises PADI Instructors for reaching specific milestones. This is based on the number of certifications that they issue annually. To be recognised as a PADI Elite Instructor, you must be an active PADI Professional with a minimum rating of Open Water Scuba Instructor and issue 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300 qualifying certifications in a calendar year.
When did you become a PADI Instructor?
What made you decide to become an instructor?
There wasn’t a specific moment when I decided to become an Instructor, it sort of seamed to be a natural progression. At one stage I actually decided that I would stop at Advanced Open Water.
What is your favourite course to teach?
I really enjoy teaching Open Water, followed by The Wreck specialty. I have a reputation as a “Metal Head” because of my love of wreck diving. However, if PADI approve my underwater virtual reality specialty course which I have just written, I may have to reorder this list.
What is the course you think every student should enrol onto?
Peak Performance Buoyancy, because buoyancy is the foundation for pretty much every other course you can do, be that exploring an engine room and not disturbing any silt or taking a photograph without damaging the environment.
Which piece or pieces of equipment do you feel is most important for a new diver?
Exactly how many certifications did you achieve in 2017?
2017 was a busy year, fifty-seven divers earned certifications.
That’s a lot of certs! What keeps you teaching?
I’m a dive nut and love it with a passion, I love taking someone from a nervous, apprehensive first session to being able to say well done, you are now a certified diver