Jordan Topkoski, PADI Master Instructor, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2016 – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.
We spoke to Jordan to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to him, as well as learning about his achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.
What inspired you to become a PADI Pro? Recreational diving allowed me to see the most amazing things and having the most incredible time. It inspired me to share these extraordinary experiences with others, who as far as I was concerned were missing so much! And what a better way to do it than by becoming a professional diver!
How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor? Instructor I have always been eager to learn more and move up the PADI ladder. I always read the PADI updates and standards so I can stay up to date and maintain a good professional reputation amongst my diving peers. Personally I have become more adventurous, wanting to explore more and more each day, which certainly keeps me active on both a physical and a psychological level.
Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why? If I have to choose, I would say the PADI Open Water Diver course because this not only teaches diving but introduces people to the joys of diving! Seeing the smile on each student when they receive their certification card makes me feel proud that it was me who has introduced them to a whole new world.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career? My greatest achievement in diving has to be the day my PADI Instructor Examiner shook my hand and handed me my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certificate. Of course since then there have been many other achievements since such as receiving my PADI Certificate for Recognition of Excellence and now the PADI Elite Instructor Award. At the end of the day nothing beats the achievement you feel when you successfully get a candidate through a PADI course.
What does diving give you that nothing else does? The feeling of freedom when exploring the underwater world truly amazes me and it is something I never get tired of.
Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now in your diving career? Absolutely! For a long time I simply didn’t like being anywhere near water! Learning to dive and understanding how to see and breathe underwater definitely helped me to overcome this fear. Now I simply love being underwater and in fact I enjoy all types of watersports.
Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving? Yes! Although it really isn’t that difficult to change lives out here in the Red Sea, especially in Dahab, where we have plentiful marine life and spectacular local reefs.
Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive? If they were an adventure seeking type I’d say we have something here they don’t have a chance to try every day, which I was absolutely certain they’d not only love- but that they’d be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives.
As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognised as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2016? The feeling is amazing. I never thought I would rise to be part of the “Elite” but it shows that with determination, hard work and passion anything is achievable. Proud is the only word I can use to explain my feelings.
What does “My PADI” mean to you? PADI introduced me to the world of diving and ultimately changed the course of my life. Professionally I believe it’s a well organised system that imparts the required knowledge to dive safely in a simple, fun and easy package. As a result, it has rightly earned its place as the world’s premier training agency and through its accessibility brought fun and enjoyment to millions.
What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors? If you are passionate about diving and love the lifestyle you lead as a PADI professional it shouldn’t be too difficult to put in that extra mile. Never give up on your students – and before you know it you will be well on your way to becoming an Elite Instructor.