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Soccer and sweat for ocean protection


What do you get when you have six of Bali’s top dive centres, a football pitch and some competitive spirit?  Over $6,000 raised for underwater conservation – that’s what!

Bali Crystal Divers, Puri Wirata Dive Resort, Blue Season Bali, Divemasters, Bali Hai Diving Adventures and Atlantis International all swapped their diving fins for football boots in the first ever 5 A-Side Soccer Tournament for Project AWARE Foundation.  Each dive centre submitted a team and, based on a point system, progressed through to each round of the competition. 

Andrew Sutherland, Bali Hai Diving said, “Apart from the fact Bali Hai didn’t win, the whole thing was fantastic. We made the semi finals where we lost to a strong team from Bali Crystal Divers. The crowd was on their feet on both pitches for the full 2 hours. There was even an emergency nurse duo diving massages to the injured players!”

The Grand Final took place between Bali Crystal Divers and Puri Wirata Dive Resort with Puri Wirata winning the game 3 goals to 2. Puri Wirata’s Manager, Birger Finaut said, “We are really glad to have won the tournament. Our local guides were especially very proud as they knew we were by far the smallest dive centre competing. I’m very glad we could take the trophy home. It now has a very prominent spot in our dive centre.”

The centres also donated over $3,000 worth of prizes which were auctioned off at an evening event at Stiff Chilli.  $1000 worth of prizes were generously donated by Vimal Lekhraj from DiveMasters.

Tom West from Blue Season Bali ran the Auction show and got the crowd spending big especially when it came to auctioning off some of the PADI Course Directors.

Course Directors “sold” themselves as personal slaves for half a day to the lucky bidder.  Slave tasks included cooking, cleaning, tank refills – you name they had to do it (within reason!)

“The bidding for the PADI Course Directors Slave Auction got really competitive.  One Course Director went for 6.4 million IDR!”, said Tony Andrews, PADI Regional Manger.

Winning team captain, Finaut from Puri Wirata said, “I would like to thank all the dive centres involved for joining, competing and creating a hopefully yearly event with maybe even more support and success in the future.”

Added Andrews, “The ocean needs our help.  We aimed to raise $2,000 but tripled that figure! Bali’s dive centres have shown that with the right passionate and determination we can do anything. On behalf of Project AWARE and PADI, Thank you Bali.”

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