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Sara Campbell

Sara CampbellSara Campbell is the four-times freediving World Record freediving holder.  She effectively went from a complete beginner to three-time World Record holder in just nine months, an unheard of feat in what is considered one of the world’s most dangerous sports. Not only this, but she accomplished these records in under 48 hours, something no-one has ever done, or is ever likely to do in this sport. The same year she took gold for Great Britain at the World Championships, seeing off her only rival, as well as experiencing her first ever black-out. Since then Sara has claimed her fourth World Record title, reaching a massive depth of 96m; the same height as Big Ben.

Referred to affectionately by her fellow athletes as ‘Mighty Mouse’, she is also the smallest freediver on the circuit, at just under five foot.

In October 2007, Sara became the first woman to hit the 90m mark in freediving using only the natural propulsion of her monofin. She also scored a hat trick by setting three world records in three days, in fact in under 48 hours, ruling in all deep disciplines. And just ten days later she became World Champion in Constant Weight. Amazingly she had made her first competitive dive only seven months previously.

Sara discovered the sport and her talent for it by accident. Having moved to Dahab, Egypt, on the Red Sea in 2005 to teach yoga, one of her students commented that her breathhold capacity and love for swimming might make her ‘quite good’ at it. Her response? Why would anyone want to do that? Thankfully her student continued to pester her until she gave in one year later and took her AIDA ** course with Linda Paganelli of Freedive Dahab. It was love at first duckdive.

Sara was born and raised in the UK, sharing a passion for the ocean with her obsessively keen sailing father, and demonstrating a love of nature, animals and wildlife from an early age. Her interest in travel was supported by a gift for learning languages and since graduating with a joint honours in Modern Languages from Bristol University, Sara has lived in three countries, including Egypt. Since attaining her records, Sara has worked as a presenter on a web TV station as the Face of the Red Sea, presenting the underwater world through the eyes of a world-class freediver, as well as appearing on many mainstream news and chat shows in the UK and US, and teaching celebrity presenters how to dive. More recently she appeared on the CBBC series, Super Humans which featured seven men and three women able to perform feats that would kill others.

While freediving is considered an ‘extreme’ sport, the fact that it relies heavily on meditation and yoga sets it apart from the more adrenalin-fuelled activities. Sara has been teaching Kundalini yoga – the yoga of transformation – for over six years and it is widely recognised that her inner strength, mental focus and self-belief were key to her achieving such remarkable results with her diving. Sara combines her competitive career with professional elite coaching, teaching her unique methods to help other athletes reach record-setting depths (so far her students have achieved a total of 11 national records for their respective countries).

She is an engaging, confident public speaker, helping people to understand that comfort zones are meant to be stepped out of, and our potential as human beings is meant to be explored and expanded on a daily basis.


BBC ‘To Boldly Go’ VT