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May 31, 2022

This episode is brought to you by our brilliant sponsor XDEEP and the patrons of Speaking Sidemount. Huge thanks to both for your support.

Sanne Volja is a cave diver and ISE instructor from Belgium and if you haven't seen her social media then you've been missing out on a real treat. Sanne combines her huge passion for diving with a unique style that makes for some of the best and most compelling stories and reels anywhere on Facebook and Instagram.


Sanne has only been diving for a few years but diving has become a seven day a week passion allowing her to build a huge skillset and experience base in a short period of time. Despite her considerable skills and passion, however, as a young woman, it hasn’t always been easy for Sanne to be taken seriously and included by some. Sadly, barriers for women still exist in many male-dominated domains and diving is no exception.


In this episode Sanne shares, how she got into diving and technical diving. How she manages her business and life to allow her to dive several times per week. We talk about the importance of mentors and how she was supported into technical diving and becoming a dive instructor. Sanne has deep empathy for the students she is teaching and she shares how she takes the stress and pressure out of her courses by allowing her students time after their course to build some dives before coming back for certification.


Sanne and I have a pretty deep conversation about the barriers that women face as technical divers and what can be done to make things easier and more inclusive. And then she shares on the formation of the Cavettes… three women who share a passion for cave diving who met through Instagram and are now blazing a trail for women technical divers… role modelling, sharing information and creating women-only events where they can dive, share their passion and knowledge.


A conversation with Sanne isn’t complete without us sharing our experiences on the KISS Sidewinder.


We end with Sanne sharing her plans for the year ahead and I accidentally let it out of the bag that I'll be in Mexico this November. More to come on that for sure!!