2006 CAFA Annual General Meeting

October 18, 2006

President's Report

In many ways, this has been CAFA's slowest year, with only four competitions on the books and a record low number of executive meetings. Every member of the board has had career and other distractions and it has been difficult to go beyond simple maintenance mode and actually grow the sport of freediving.

Trade Shows

The 2005/2006 year got off to a fairly vigorous start, with an intensive trade show circuit, starting with CAFA's first ever attendance at the Dive Equipment Manufacturer's Association (DEMA) show in October. We also had displays at the Vancouver Aquarium's Diver's weekend and the Advil Outdoor Adventure shows in Vancouver and Toronto. It was a good chance to promote freediving amongst the general public as well as dive store operators.

The trade show circuit generated us several new contacts in the dive industry and a number of dive stores expressed interest in running courses and talks. Unfortunately, we were not able to provide the degree of follow-up that would have fully capitalized on this interest. There were two reasons for this:

  1. Starting with the PFI 'Sink Faze' record event and competition, everyone on the board became incredibly busy, primarily with accelerated careers.
  2. The insurance industry continued to hold out on the freediving world. This insurance gap, particularly in education severely restricted the number of instructors to those few who continue do so without insurance.

Competitions

CAFA sanctioned four competitions over this past year:

  1. March WRC in Vancouver
  2. April PFI Invitational (jointly sanctioned by CAFA and USAA)
  3. July Nationals in Vancouver
  4. September WRC in Vancouver

With the exception of Nationals, all of the competitions had significantly fewer athletes than expected. In fact, the June ERC had to be cancelled due to lack of athletes, and we VERY nearly cancelled the September WRC.

Clearly, we are going to have to regenerate some real interest in competitions we are to retain our stature on the world stage.

The way forward

CAFA is clearly at a turning point right now. Canadian freediving has come a long way since CAFA's inception in the summer of 2000 but has started to falter. All of the current board members remain committed to freediving but to a large degree, our interests within the sport have moved beyond running CAFA. It is therefore time to bring new energy and ideas on to the board.

To that end, I have decided to step down as CAFA's president in the hopes that my successor will provide that much needed new energy and vision. I will still be on the board though. In the roll of past-president, I will serve in an advisory capacity to the new president and board.

Tom Lightfoot
President

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