Aida is an organization of freedivers comprised of an international assembly who vote by the democratic process. Each national member has one vote. The assembly elects an executive board to manage the daily business of Aida. The executive Board consists of the following positions; president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, sports officer, and education officer. The non-executive (non-voting) positions are ; IT officer, communication/media officer, medical/ science officer, legal officer, and judges officer. The majority of the work accomplished by Aida is done so by committee volunteers as well as Aida officers. The committees include; disciplinary committee, education committee, and technical committee. All members are encouraged to volunteer to participate as a committee member.
In 1988 the movie “Big Blue” created an enormous interest in freediving and many record attempts were seen around the world. These record attempts were organized without a standard set of rules and with no common safety guidelines. Come the early 1990’s: freedivers wanted to be heard and recognized. freedivers wanted to meet each other. freedivers wanted to teach and share their passion. freedivers wanted to convey their security systems to those who did not have any. freedivers wanted to promote and win acceptance for the sport by the national diving federations. We wanted a strong community and we wanted to create a stable and safe set of rules and guidelines for competitions and record attempts. Therefore AIDA was created in 1992.
AIDA has grown to an international federation and is the single largest organizer of international freediving competitions, rules and regulations. Rules and regulations are discussed and improved continuously and every day around the world new students are trained and earn their certificates. Sport and education, promoting the joy of freediving are key concerns of a sports federation. However – AIDA freedivers also participate in scientific studies on breath hold diving to further the understanding of the human body’s reaction to deep diving and thus improving safety guidelines and regulations. Also environmental protection and research and sustainable development are key concerns of AIDA. But we are not just a sports federation! AIDA is an organization all about freediving and about helping its development. A big part of this work is demonstrating to the world that freediving is safe, fun, challenging and a fantastic blend of inner peace, concentration, technique, training, friends and team work. Freediving is sometimes misunderstood as an extreme and dangerous sport for thrill seekers. Nothing could be further from the truth! Today AIDA is the bond that unites freedivers across the planet. "By freedivers for freedivers" really sums up well what AIDA is.
We were isolated. We are now united - thanks to AIDA. By maintaining its independence, AIDA protects the interests of freedivers while at the same time maintaining ongoing dialogue and a growing cooperation with both national and international diving federations. From different viewpoints, we all want to develop freediving as a sport and recreational activity. AIDA is all about freediving and we will cooperate and discuss the future of freediving with any and all interested parties and organizations. It took us 20 years to create rules for freediving records and competitions. It took us 20 years to develop a fullblown educational system. During all these years, different teams at the head of AIDA led by Roland, Sebastien, Bill, Kimmo and plenty of other volunteers have created a group, a tribe: freedivers! Our goal now and for the future is to tell the world that freediving is much more than only records. Freediving is about a world of emotions and feelings. Freediving is about sharing the pleasure with friends. Freediving is about respect for the sea and the planet. Beyond the competitions and the records, AIDA will continue to demonstrate this… Claude Chapuis & Roland Specker 2010, December 16 th