Your PADI Course Director and the people that teach professional level courses are of utmost importance to your success throughout your internship and as a foundation for your career as a professional.
Here at Downbelow we have a dedicated full time team of highly trained instructor trainers to guide you and teach your professional level diving courses. Our resident British Platinum PADI Course Director, Richard Swann heads-up the team along with Master Instructors Joanne & Paul, plus our PADI Staff Instructors Liz, Strike, Tim, Mel and Pablo.
Downbelow has built a reputation for training and delivering PADI Instructors that are ready for the work place. Awarded for our contribution to Instructor Development and achieving Platinum PADI Course Director Status over consecutive years support our claim for excellence.
Meet the Team…
Downbelow Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann is a highly experienced Instructor Trainer, with almost two decades of professional diver training.
A PADI Course Director is the highest level of professional rating in the PADI system of education and to be awarded the Platinum level is indication of our commitment to instructor development. There are currently only 66 Platinum PADI Course Directors worldwide.
Downbelow Director and PADI Master Instructor Joanne has been a dive educator since 2001, and teaching Instructor-level courses for almost a decade.
Joanne leads the Head Office team with her extensive knowledge on the ‘business of diving’.
Joanne possesses the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of an individuals’ career in the scuba diving industry. With the consideration of our candidates’ professional needs, Joanne & her team will tailor your internship program so that you get the best possible mix of training and experience so that by the end of your internship you are a confident PADI professional ready to work. At the same time Joanne will ensure you are receiving great value for money since at this stage of your PADI career every penny counts!
With several years of experience in Sabah’s tourism industry, Alice is one of our experts in tailoring unforgettable holiday packages and she specialises in catering suitable itineraries for professional scuba diving internships.
Based at our Sabah Travel Centre in our Kota Kinabalu HQ, Alice will be candidates’ first friendly correspondence with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures. Go PRO advisor Alice keeps in close contact with Go PRO interns to ensure our excellent customer service is maintained. She’s a dedicated counsellor, and assists interns beyond the scope of their professional dive training, such as arranging accommodation of any budget, flights, visa requirements, and almost anything and everything else!
Paul Jones first arrived at Downbelow a few years ago as a professional intern and gradually worked his way through the PADI professional ranks to become PADI Master Instructor.
Despite also being Operations Manager of our 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, Paul is committed to sharing with our candidates’ his experience and knowledge of dive instruction.
Strike gained his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor qualification in 2009 with Downbelow, and his dive travels have strengthened his knowledge of diving in both KK’s TAR marine park, as well as Sabah’s east coast.
Strike is also our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre’s General Operations and Transport Manager, and is dedicated to maintaining our high standards in divers safety and excellent customer service too!
Tim has a very thoughtful and caring approach to the dive instruction of his students. He has not only inspired many a student diver to progress their training, but inspired them to share their success stories with the PADI organisation, who in turn recognises such dedication to excellent customer service and diver training!
In early 2012, Liz emigrated back to Malaysia from the UK and completed her professional diver training with Downbelow and enrolled on the IDC in May 2012!
Liz is also Downbelow’s Business Development Executive, supporting the Directors on our existing and new programs within the company.
Her background in writing and experience as a full-time Instructor with our dive operations in KK has proved valuable in educating the public on the standards of diver training offered at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.
Pablo has developed into an awesome Instructor with a lot of positive feedback on his performance with customer service and skills with underwater photography – a passion of his, even before he qualified as a dive instructor.
He decided to pursue his diving dream under the tutelage of mentor Richard Swann, and enrolled in our company-sponsored incentive GoPRO internship program to qualify as a Divemaster in 1 year. He showed a lot of promise with his enthusiastic attitude and inquisitive nature, so Downbelow offered a further sponsorship to enrol in the February 2013 IDC for the next level: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)!
Mel is a dedicated dive educator who relishes living the diver lifestyle with gusto!
Before he certified as an Instructor in our May 2013 IDC, Mel was a full-time boat captain for many years for commercial activities, conducting various water sports activities, and then for the last few years at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. During that time, he climbed the ladder of the PADI diver system and reached the Divemaster level. That experience, and the support of Platinum CD Richard, was invaluable to giving him the push to become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)!