Tuesday, 08 September 2015 08:37

Diving for Cyprus

Evi Holroyd after a 40.9 metre dive time 1 min 50 sec Evi Holroyd after a 40.9 metre dive time 1 min 50 sec

Limassolian Evi Holroyd will represent Cyprus along with two other athletes as the only woman in the upcoming  AIDA Individual Depth World Championship 2015 in Freediving, aiming to set a new national record.

The event, which will bring over 120 athletes from around the world to Limassol, is to take place September 11-20, while pre-competitions already started on Saturday.

Holroyd took part in her first international competition in 2013 in Kalamata, Greece and is thrilled to be able to attend in ‘home waters’ this time. Born to a Cypriot mother and a British father, Evi moved to Cyprus in 2003. An English teacher by training, the bubbly, curly haired woman is known to many as ‘Wormworks Evi’ as she also has the unusual hobby of raising composting worms. She says she is generally very connected to nature and concerned with environmental issue and also does yoga, drums, sings in a choir and can be seen riding her bicycle around town – most likely heading for the beach.

The beginning of a passion

Evi Holroyd has always liked the water, but was just not a very good swimmer and not able to swim with her head under water. This changed when she went to Sicily and really wanted to see what’s ‘down there’ and thus got her first mask and pair of goggles. Once in Limassol, the proximity to the sea helped her improve her swimming and later diving skills. She found out about the actual sport of freediving from a friend and took her first course 5 years ago with Bluavventura to start training more seriously about two years later. She had set her goal to dive to 40 metres at the age of 40, which she did, however not in a competition. For the upcoming competition she is hoping to break her current record of -30 meters.

The sport

Freediving is a fun and healthy hobby and the free fall one experiences below about 20 meters is a fantastic feeling, explains the diving enthusiast to The Cyprus Weekly. There are several categories in competition including the following three represented in this world Championship: CWT (constant weight with fins) to – 38 meters, CNF (constant weight with no fins) to – 20 meters and FIM (free immersion) to – 30 meters. The average times for these dives range from 1.30 and 2 minutes. Holroyd holds the national record for all of them, but would like to encourage more Cypriots to take up free diving “I want someone to try and come get my title”, she laughs.

Freediving paradise

The sport is well developed and supported in Cyprus by AIDA Cyprus which was established in December 2005 by a few passionate Cypriot freedivers offering the freediving community on the island the chance to become members of a greater family, with an aim to represent Cyprus in local and international events. AIDA International have been organising freediving competitions around the world since 1992 and chose Cyprus this year for its clean, warm and safe waters.
“We are lucky to have such ideal conditions at our doorstep,” concludes Holroyd who is visibly excited about the upcoming event and challenge. She plans to continue enjoying the sport for pure pleasure and of course improve her skills as she moves or rather dives along to new depths. Details about the upcoming championship can be found at www.aidainternational.org

Picture: Evi Holroyd after a 40.9 metre dive time 1 min 50 sec

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 4th 2015

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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