Interviews and Profiles

Diving in Cyprus – Facts at a Glance (Steve Ford)

Steve FaceSteve Ford, owner of Cyprus Diving Adventures, shares his favourite scuba diving facts about Cyprus for our 2017 edition of the 8509 magazine.  We bet some will be a real surprise!…

Relative links:  Interview with Steve 2015 / Diving in Cyprus 2016

 

The coastline of Cyprus has been awarded more blue flag awards for the cleanliness of its sea and beaches per capita and coastline than anywhere else in the world.

On average there are over 800 turtle nests on Cyprus beaches every year, with many more individual turtles visiting our waters every summer. Loggerhead turtles outnumber green turtles by four to one.

turtle diving 2

To date there are over 250 fish species in Cypriot waters, which is home to the greatest diversity of marine life in the Mediterranean.

mediterranean monk sealThe relative isolation of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean has resulted in the evolution of several endemic species such as the rare Mediterranean Monk Seal.

The sea off Pissouri Bay is home to the largest reef in Cyprus, with the deepest known and largest cave for divers.

There are over 80 dive sites in Cyprus, from Paphos in the west to Cape Greko in the east.

Cyprus is home to the ‘Titanic of the Mediterranean’ – the Zenobia wreck.

Apart from the Zenobia there are a further 12 wrecks around Cyprus for divers to explore.

MS Zenobia

Marine reserves on dive sites include St George’s Island, the 2 Limassol wrecks area and the Zenobia wreck.

Underwater visibility is typically 20 to 40 metres and the sea never gets lower than 17degreesC in the winter. Summer water temperatures can reach 30 degreesC.

There are 5 protected marine areas in coastal waters and a further number of reef marine reserves. These are in open water, or supported by artificial reefs.

 

Experience the magic of scuba diving in Cyprus with Cyprus Diving Adventures and enjoy special 8509 discounted prices and free pick up & drop off.

Visit Steve’s Website                                                                                                         Call Steve Now: 97 661 046

Sport Profile: Wyn Lewis

Wyn

Age: 32                                                                                                                                       Profession: Tennis Coach

Current position: Mature student. Senior Coach at Aphrodite Hills since 2009.
Studying: Coaching Performance Analysis at Cardiff Metropolitan University. It’s fascinating.
Favourite tennis player: Past: Stefan Edberg / Present: Roger Federer.
Favourite tennis event: I love the French Open. The atmosphere is amazing & the players love it!
Preferred coaching approach: I am very much a constructivist. I don’t believe in telling people what to do – with guidance, players can discover what works best for them themselves. Self discovery is a more fun & productive way to learn.
One reason that you love Aphrodite Hills: It’s the people that make the resort magical: the tourists, residents and staff. One reason is not enough!

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Wyn coaches at Aphrodite Hills Tennis Academy in the summer months – find out more about the tennis academy here.

Interview with Neil Sweeney, Elea Estate Golf Club

We caught up with Neil Sweeney, the well-travelled Head Golf Professional at Elea Estate Golf Club; he tells us why Elea stands out and lets us in on some valuable coaching tips:

neil pic

Tell us, when did you fall in love with golf & when did you become a Pro?
I started golf when I was 12, I switched on the TV one day and the British Open was on – I was instantly fascinated. My Dad took me to our local golf course where he taught me the basics, then I went to a Pro who guided me in the right direction. At 18 I enrolled with the British P.G.A, and after 3 years of studying and examinations I became fully qualified and headed to Germany. I spent 11 years in the South of Germany near to Stuttgart in the Black Forest area, 4 years in Moscow and 12 years in Cyprus now.

Name your favourite golf destinations?
I have played in many different countries – my favourite of which is South Africa, it has a great variation of courses. My next favourite which will surprise some people is Moscow, the courses are in fantastic condition and the facilities are top class.

What are the course highlights?
Elea is one of the very few golf courses where you can actually see all 18 holes form the Clubhouse terrace, with the beautiful olive trees and the amazing view of the Mediterranean with an outstanding sunset, the whole setting of the golf course is perfect. My favourite hole is the 9th (par 5) – it’s always a challenge which makes it fun to play.

What is different about Elea Estate Golf Club in general?
Every club on the Island is very different which is a positive thing. I believe we are the most member orientated – this gives a very warm family sort of feeling. Comments we receive from our visitors are very positive in this respect, we like to make them feel a part of Elea as well.

What stands out about your coaching academy at Elea Estate?
I use the latest technology: flightscope launch monitor/GASP mobile videos software/indoor swing studio with swing analysis system and more. We have a great air conditioned room for the heat of the summer or rainy days so no lessons are cancelled. All  students receive videos of their golf lessons so we can keep track of their progress.

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Visit Elea Estate’s Website Here

Sport Profile: Lee Walkley

Age: 44                                                                                                                                       Profession: Football Coach

Current position: Director of Football Coaching at Dream Team Soccer School, Aphrodite Hills.
Favourite footballer: Lionel Messi – he plays for Barcelona and the Argentine national team. He is one of the best players of his generation and the world’s best contemporary player.
Favourite football event: World Cup as you get to watch all of the best players in the world.
Best thing about coaching kids: As a coach, it’s easy to lose sight of what is truly important. It’s not all about the winning – it’s about teaching kids about life, how to be happy and successful, how to be a good friend and teammate and how to live with integrity and confidence.
One reason that you love Aphrodite Hills: It’s a stunning resort, everyone is so friendly. We also have the benefit of running the only Soccer School on the island that is open all year round.

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Interview with Lee Walkley, DreamTeam Soccer School

We caught up with Lee Walkley, our friendly DreamTeam Soccer Director of Coaching, who told us why football training is a fun and engaging activity for kids:

Lee Walkley image

Tell us, what inspired the Dream Team Soccer School?

The idea of pupils having the opportunity to be trained by highly qualified football coaches inspired us really. My coaching ethos is FUN in football, the sessions are for boys & girls of all ages and abilities, and are designed to learn new skills in a FUN way.

Why Aphrodite Hills?

It’s a stunning resort and everyone is so friendly. The Resort have been really supportive and are keen to provide us with the best facilities – we have a new 3G football pitch for this season and have more in the pipeline. It’s also the only Resort in Cyprus to run a Soccer School all year round.

What makes the Dream Team Soccer School so enjoyable for children?

We are all about FUN in Football – we have a great coaching team who love coaching and our goal is for every child taking part to come away happy, having made loads of new friends, learnt loads of new skills and looking forward to their next session.

What do you find the most rewarding part of being a coach?

Everything…just seeing everyone having a great time!
Getting personal – who is your all time football hero and why?

Steven Gerrard, he always makes the difference on the football pitch and he always gives his all. He is a perfect professional footballer.

Have you had any famous footballers visit the soccer school?

We have quite a few professional footballers holidaying at the Resort and their children love taking part in the football. The footballers sometimes ask to join in and have a kick-about with the kids – it’s great to see the children playing football with their idols.

What life lessons do you think kids can take away from football coaching?

Fair play, making new friends, always try your hardest but have loads of FUN.

Where is your favourite place to go in Cyprus off the Resort?

We love living here on the Resort – there’s a great atmosphere, everyone is so positive, and it’s stunning…off the Resort? For us it’s the Famagusta area. My wife and I have family living there, & we love Nissi Beach.

Finishing off with the biggy – what is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To treat others how you want to be treated and to make time for friends and family – it’s so important.

Tel: Lee – 96 297 983                                                                                                           Website

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Interview with Steve Ford – Cyprus Diving Adventures

We caught up with Steve Ford (known affectionately to us as ‘Scuba Steve’), our favourite diving instructor on the island – we personally dive with him, and he is the most qualified in the region:

Steve Face

So Steve, what first attracted you to Cyprus?

Having holidayed here for years we fell in love with it – the people, the food, the weather and the diving (I did my very first dive here 20 years ago). My partner Mary & I moved here in 2007 and we haven’t looked back since.

What is it that made you fall in love with Scuba diving?

Going scuba diving is like visiting another planet, you are weightless underwater and surrounded by a wonderful world that not many people see. Underwater is a beautiful place to be and so relaxing.

What’s your history as a diving instructor?

I originally qualified in the UK over 12 years ago and began teaching in quarries and on the South Coast. I’m now a PADI Master Instructor, a TDI & PADI technical instructor and a speciality instructor. I have done more than 4,000 dives to date (nowadays about 350 a year) in many countries including UK, Cyprus, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Greek Islands, Mexico, Egypt and Tenerife.

What buzz do you get out of diving?

Watching other people’s reactions to their first diving experience is always a great buzz, and you just can’t beat unexpected marine life surprises – like coming across big shoals of fish when you’re not expecting them!
Why is Cyprus a great place to dive?

The warm, clear, safe waters of Cyprus are perfect for divers of all levels and for dive training. It has a fantastic diving environment for beginner levels up to intermediate and very experienced divers. We do 100’s of entry level and above courses here and we have excellent wreck diving, walls, reefs, caves, pinnacles, islands and marine life that will satisfy the needs of all experience levels.

Can families try diving together?

Absolutely! Kids can start from 8 and we always ensure that it’s a max. ratio of 2:1 learners/instructors. It’s a great experience for parents and kids to share, something that can become a family hobby. For anyone that doesn’t fancy diving in the group then they’re more than welcome to join us while the others are diving. They can enjoy the beach or the boat and get to experience the sights of Cyprus and even stop for lunch too!

We have to mention the Zenobia – why is this wreck classed as one of the best diving sites in the world?

The sheer size of the wreck (172m long), the protected marine reserve (the abundance of sea life is some of the best in the world), the cargo; 105 lorries and trailers and their contents, its depth ranges from 16m down to 42m. You have to see it to believe it…

discount

8509 Discounts are available with Steve.  Click here to view the full list.

Tel: Steve – 97 661 046                                                                         Website

 

Interview with Annabel Croft

Sport - AcademyAphrodite Hills Tennis Academy was franchised by the Annabel Croft Academy between 2013 – end of 2015 – during this time we managed to grab the Former British No 1 Ladies Tennis player, T.V presenter and Tennis Academy Owner; Annabel Croft to talk about, Travel, Tennis and Aphrodite Hills.

 What is your earliest tennis memory?
Watching Virginia wade win Wimbledon. She is now a great friend and has been an incredible inspiration to me.

What is your most treasured tennis memory?
Probably playing my idol Chris Evert on Court one at Wimbledon in the third round, 1985. And also winning Junior Wimbledon on that same court the same year.

Who was your toughest opponent during your career and why?
Martina Navratilova as she was so physically strong, serve and volleyed and took time away from you. Matches went very quickly as points were short!

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
YOGA

What are the things you like most about travel?
I love to experience and explore different cultures and meet people from different parts of the world. Travel has enriched my life in so many ways. With accessibility no, the world feels so much smaller, but it’s one of the greatest privileges to be able to travel.

Why Aphrodite Hills?
Cyprus is very beautiful and particularly, so is Aphrodite Hills. The Tennis Academy facility is one of the best in Europe with a perfect climate to match. The people are charming too. Therefore, an obvious choice!

What are the things you like most about tennis coaching?
It’s very rewarding being able to pass on knowledge that was passed on to me and see the results and joy it gives to others.

What is the Annabel Croft coaching ethos?
My coaching ethos is mainly about hitting lots and lots of balls from many different parts of the court. It’s about teaching players to be able to move as well as hit a tennis ball. When you play tennis you are never static and therefore as soon as you are out of position or off balance things can go wrong. Therefore, all our drills are designed to be as close to the real scenario as possible. To give confidence as well as have fun on court. We encourage all ages and abilities and through doing the drills and hitting a large volume of balls you improve.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The harder you practice the luckier you get!

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring tennis players, what would it be?
Stay relaxed and enjoy! There are many thoughts that go through a players mind when playing tennis so it’s important to try to focus on one or two things and set small achievable goals.

What is your most treasured possession?
I try not to put too much emphasis on material things but I would be sad if my Junior Wimbledon cup got lost as it holds many great memories for me.

Where would you most like to live?
I love where I live in Kingston Upon Thames which is near beautiful Richmond Park with the deer and lakes, but I would like to live in the sun too.

Who, past and present would be your perfect doubles partner?
I always loved Bjorn Borg as a child and used to queue up to watch him in standing room only on centre court. I would choose him or Roger Federer.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would like to live in the period of Downton Abbey wearing beautiful clothes and drinking plenty of English tea!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Treat others how you want to be treated and don’t get stressed out. So many others have much worse lives and put whatever problem you have in perspective.

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