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A dream comes true: the birth of AIDA Romania

Great news for all Romanian freedivers: almost a year after the process of affiliation was initiated, at the beginning of March 2012, the AIDA International secretary, Robert King, informed the Romanian representatives of the AIDA Assembly’s positive vote to welcome Romania as an AIDA observer member, as it’s stated on the Romanian organization’s official website.

Mydive.ro talked to Sergiu Şerban, the president of Freediving Romania and founding member of AIDA Romania, who stated: “The affiliation to AIDA International, the most representative freediving international organization, represents a necessary step in advocating freediving in Romania, following established standards of education and safety specific to AIDA. Furthermore, a new opportunity arises for all Romanian freedivers interested in participating in competitions, AIDA being the only international organization that stages championships and certifies national and worldwide records following a well-established system. Even though we offer AIDA courses in Romania ever since 2010, I am hopeful that in the near future we will be able to present the entire range of training opportunities and, moreover, the first freediving competitions.”

From Cyprus, Alexandru Russu, founding member of AIDA Romania and one of the most keen supporters of AIDA affiliation, explained that the transition from this intermediate state as observer member to that of member with full voting status depends on a coming of age process for AIDA Romania: “This maturation of the organization with the purpose of achieving full voting status means ensuring a consistent attendance in the worldwide competition circuit and involves being in line with the AIDA system of operation, increasing our head count (freedivers, instructors, clubs, judges) and  virtually hosting competitions. It will probably take a few years to reach these objectives, but there’s no hurry because the veto power brought by a full voting status doesn’t bring any benefits until we achieve that international attendance in the competition arena.”

A milestone for Romanian freediving
The birth of AIDA Romania, the national branch of AIDA International, represents a decisive moment for the Romanian freediving community, be it at home or abroad, thus creating, for the first time, the possibility for Romanian athletes to officially represent their country, through AIDA Romania, in AIDA international competitions, and to organize local contests, under and following the AIDA standards and regulations.

As Alexandru Russu told us, this affiliation “means that there are well-intended people, internationally as much as nationally, who support the development of Romanian freediving. It’s not a prize or a promise, but a support for prospective athletes. It’s an open door, a motivation, a challenge.”

The birth of AIDA Romania
The initiative to create AIDA Romania comes from Diaspora, from people who, living in countries where AIDA was already established, came in contact with the competition freediving and in 2008 expressed interest to found this organization at a national level in order to take part in the AIDA Team World Championship. The difference between the initiative itself and the birth of the organization consists in a minimum number of members who emerged only a few years later when some of us became instructors and we were able to create clusters of new freedivers around us. A decisive moment in this process was the return to Romania of an instructor and the certification of new freedivers in the country. Sergiu Şerban shaped a freediving community in Bucharest and in 2011 they made it official by creating an organization named Freediving Romania.”, it’s specified on the AIDA Romania official website.

AIDA Romania is the organization representing AIDA International at national level and promotes freediving through competitions, education and community. The two pillars on which AIDA is based are acknowledgement of freediving records and the non-discrimination principle. From this point of view, AIDA Romania will have the primary role of keeping track of national records and communicating the competition results for the global ranking. Furthermore, AIDA Romania has the obligation to equally treat any individual, club or organization showing interest in entering the AIDA system.

The affiliation, a long and laborious road
The affiliation process was started almost a year ago (April-May 2011) when Alexandru Russu, Romanian freediver and instructor residing in Cyprus, initiated the first talks with AIDA International, on behalf of the Romanian community, in order to obtain the observer member status for Romania.

The approval of the request by the AIDA Board followed in June 2011, this being sent forward to be voted upon by the AIDA Assembly.

In October 2011, during the World Championship in Kalamata, Greece, Alexandru raised again the issue of accession and of a possible Romanian attendance at the Team Championship in 2012.

At the beginning of March 2012 Romania was welcomed as an AIDA International observer member: “The first item was the approval of new Observer Members Malaysia and Romania which passed with no objections. We welcome these new groups and expect to see them progress to full voting status in the future.”

What the observer member status means
On AIDA Romania’s website is explained what the affiliation as an AIDA International observer member means: “The observer member status represents the birth act of AIDA Romania and the facilitation of accessing the international competition freediving scene through initializing an information flow between AIDA International and AIDA Romania.

The observer member status is an intermediate step towards obtaining the full voting member status and favors the coming of age of our organization through access to information and exemption from any mandatory financial costs. 

The difference between the full voting member status and observer member status consists of: the right to veto within the AIDA Assembly, the need of a formal organization and the payment of an annual fee to AIDA International.”

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One Response to “A dream comes true: the birth of AIDA Romania”

  1. Felicitari!!!

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