Interview with Freediving Instructor Elys Lai

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Meet Elys Lai, one of the bright new stars of freediving in Singapore. Elys qualified as a Pure Apnea instructor last year and has been training new freedivers for FreediveXQ. She holds 7 national records and shares her passion for competitive freediving with her students.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? (The same way you introduce yourself to new students)

Hi I’m Elys. I started teaching freediving in November 2021. I currently work with the FreediveXQ school conducting courses in Singapore. I also participate in freediving competitions locally and overseas.

When, where and why did you start freediving? What inspired you to get started?

My first experience freediving was in February 2018 in Phuket, Thailand. After scuba diving for 2 years, having done about 90 dives and being a certified scuba rescue diver, I decided to take a freediving course which didn’t need me to carry a tank.  It was a challenge for me to “dare to face your fears”, a way to encourage myself to be a confident woman.

What is your favourite freediving location and why?

Panglao in the Philippines. A beautiful green island in central Asia with depth from shore, coral reefs and white beaches. The sea water is 25-27°C and usually calm in the morning. A perfect place for freediving.

What has been your most memorable dive so far? 

I experienced a deep dive down to 52m using a monofin. The feeling at depth was wonderful and mesmerizing.

What is your favourite marine animal and have you freedived with one yet?

Whale sharks. A whale shark swam by our buoy during one of our training dives in Panglao in December 2019.

Why did you become a freediving instructor?

To teach freediving with the objective of promoting this wonderful sport to everyone in love with the oceans. Also I aim to raise awareness of safety for freediving in the ocean or doing long swims in the swimming pool.

Elys Lai Freediving Instructor

Where do you teach your courses?

Mainly in Singapore. I also work with a school which organizes overseas trips to beautiful islands in Tioman Malaysia, Bali Indonesia and Panglao Philippines.

How would you describe your local freediving community?

The freediving community is growing fast and has been breaking more national records the past 2 years. It goes to show that we have outstanding athletes and coaches here in Singapore.

What gives you the greatest sense of achievement or satisfaction when teaching freediving?

I’m a freediving athlete, currently hold 7 x national records in pool disciplines and was selected to compete as a wildcard entry in the 2022 AIDA Individual World Championships in Burgas in Bulgaria. I’m keen to share my success as a competitive freediver by conducting training/sharing sessions for freedivers who are keen to compete.

Elys Lai Dynamic Bi-fins

Thank you Elys!

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