Many people are running marathons or taking part in sports challenge events for a charity but when scuba divers swap their fins for a pair of trainers, their passion for the underwater world turns their personal challenge into a triumph for marine conservation.
On Sunday, 16th October, Arlette Diederiks from the Netherlands ran a half marathon in aid of Project AWARE's new Dive Against Debris programme. Her efforts raised more than $1740.
"The weather was perfect for running: the sun was shining, hardly any wind and not too cold nor too warm. I ran the 21 km in 1 hour 50 minutes and 53 seconds and I was really happy with my time. Friends and family sponsored me. It was a great day for both me and the oceans!" said Arlette.
Also running for Project AWARE earlier this year was Matthew Roberts who took part in the Torbay Half Marathon in the UK.
“Running during 1 Hour 37 minutes and 54 seconds, gives you quite a long time to think. Many things crossed my mind but there was one thing that really hit home while I was watching the waves, and it’s that there is still time; still time for us to educate and protect, still time for us to change our ways and become more considerate, and that there is still time for our oceans... but how much? That, I couldn’t figure out” commented Matt.
“I really enjoyed the whole experience and hope that more and more people become aware and are able to get involved. I’d like to thank Project AWARE for the work they undertake and issues that they tackle. I would also truly like to thank everyone that has sponsored me” said Matt.
Since Project AWARE re-launched in June 2011 with new programmes and activities such as Dive Against Debris, thousands of passionate divers like Arlette and Matt have joined the growing movement of scuba divers taking action to protect our ocean planet.
Whether divers are raising vital funds running Marathons, signing and collecting shark petition signatures or collecting and reporting underwater litter, they are helping protect the ocean and its inhabitants by getting involved.
Check out our Support a Supporter page and Action Zone to see where divers in more than 180 countries have been running, jumping out of planes, swimming, growing a moustache, and much more in aid of Project AWARE and marine conservation.
Congratulations Arlette and Matt and thank you to all our great fundraisers out there who are putting so much effort in supporting our work!
You are all Champions and Winners to us!