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PADI approaching 20 million certs; Countdown Contest Announced

(DiverWire) The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the world’s largest scuba diving training and certification organization, announced Friday that the organization will soon issue its 20 millionth scuba diver certification. To celebrate the occasion, the organization will be presenting a “Countdown to 20 Million” campaign. which will award the diver who earns the 20 millionth certification AND the instructor who issues the winning certification a trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The PADI organization was started 35 years ago and has more than 135,000 active professional members worldwide and more than 6,000 affiliated retail outlets and resorts worldwide, according to the organization. The 20 million certification milestone easily makes PADI the most recognized name in the recreational scuba diving industry.

“In 1966, Ralph Erickson and John Cronin had an idea about a better way that people to learn to dive. That the PADI organization has grown from the two of them to more than 20 million testifies to the power and wisdom of their vision” says PADI Worldwide Chief Executive Officer Brian Cronin. “It also shows how a mutual passion for diving unites the PADI family around the world. Twenty million certifications only happens because PADI professionals lead diving. I salute their achievement.”

The Countdown to 20 Million campaign includes a comprehensive public relations effort coupled with promotion in PADI digital media outlets and a daily, updated countdown counter at padi.com.

“Each of the 135,000 PADI Members around the world not only share a passion for diving and the underwater world, but influence and lead diving in the local community,” says PADI President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Drew Richardson. “It’s this leadership, backed by passions, interests and convictions, that magnified John and Ralph’s concepts in to a global movement of literally millions of people who identify with PADI. As PADI Divers travel locally and internationally, they look for PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Professionals because they are reassured by the common connection that unifies us as a family or tribe.”

PADI officials say they anticipate reaching the 20 million certification milestone in the third quarter of 2011.

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