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From Zero to Hero

Learning to swim or improving your skills at water sports is good for everyone.

Being born in a landlocked city has not stopped Nadia Azizabadi from taking to swimming like a “fish to water”.

Now, Nadia wants to inspire others to learn to swim and take part in water sports through a program where anyone can go from “zero to hero”.

Originally from Iran, Nadia is a good example of how someone can go from no swimming experience to a swim instructor involved in a range of water-based sports.

Nadia started swimming lessons when she moved to Malaysia, five years ago, at the age of 29. In Malaysia Nadia also learned scuba diving.

When Nadia moved to Australia she planned to continue her interests in swimming and water sports but found Malaysian and Australian standards were so different. It felt like her skills had gone back to zero.

Undeterred, Nadia did swimming and scuba diving courses again in Tasmania to get familiar with Australian standards. To build up confidence in water sports, Nadia also did some underwater hockey training. Now Nadia is a swim instructor and playing underwater hockey, underwater rugby and scuba diving.

While undertaking swimming training, Nadia realised if she could learn to swim as an adult, so could others. This resulted in Nadia starting a new project “From Zero to Hero”, which focuses on teaching adult immigrants to swim and also trains them to become social and/or competitive water-based sports players.

“Water sports, confidence and safety play a central role in Australian culture, and teaching it to new arrivals is a way of introducing them to that culture. Moreover, Australia is surrounded by water so it’s important to learn how to swim and enjoy living in an island as beautiful as Tasmania,” Nadia said.

Nadia calls her swimming program “From Zero to Hero” as she believes everyone who takes a step by step approach and faces their fear is ”the Hero of their yesterday”.

From Zero to Hero is partnering with Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania to support young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds learn to swim and become involved in water sports and local swimming clubs with the MY Swim to Sport program, founded by the Healthy Tasmania Community Innovations Grants through the Tasmanian Government.