Alice Hickson wins Gold & Bronze at AIDA Individual World Championships & Breaks two national records in DNF & STA

Four other Team Members also qualify for A & B Finals

UK Freediving Team Pool World Championships 2015

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (

The Individual AIDA Pool World Championships ran from 21st to 27th June in the city of Belgrade in Serbia, with 122 athletes from 27 countries in attendance. A team of eight British athletes made the trip to represent the UK and fly the flag: Adam Drzazga, Alice Hickson, Beci Ryan, Georgina Miller, Jason Kirkpatrick, Lucelle Simms, Rebecca Coales and Shirley Turner.

The team was made up of seasoned and novice athletes alike. Despite it being an individual event the athletes worked together as a team, offering competition advice and coaching one another’s performances. All the athletes on the team are self funded and this year they were grateful to receive sponsorship from Divesangha, Bounce Energy Balls and Beet-it shots.

From the onset the team looked strong, with three athletes, Rebecca Coales, Georgina Miller and Beci Ryan holding wild cards (meaning they ranked top ten in the world for one or more discipline), and Jason Kirkpatrick and Alice Hickson having won best newcomer at the National Pool championships in March at the Great Northern.

But no one could have predicted that a 25-year-old, Swim Coach and Occupational Therapist, who had been freediving 8 months and this just her second competition, would break three national records, win a gold and bronze medal and become a World Champion! But this is exactly what Alice Hickson did with ease, grace and humbleness.

On day one Alice came out and performed like a professional, breaking the UK national record in dynamic no fins (DNF) by swimming 153m (the previous record was 145m set by Rebecca Coales) and securing herself a place in the A-Finals. In the A-Finals Alice continued to impress by adding almost an entire length onto her previous performance, 21m to be exact, and coming up clean and strong at 174m; winning her a second national record, a gold medal and the title World Champion.

It was in static (STA) that Alice went on to win her bronze medal. In the qualifying heats, despite the challenging cold conditions, which put a number of other athletes off, she held her breath for 05:58. In the finals she increased her time to 06:58 and broke her third national record. Georgina Miller had set the previous static national record at 06:33 at the Great Northern on 22 March this year.

There were some strong performances from other members of Team GB, with Georgina Miller qualifying for the STA A-Finals and now ranking number 7 in the World. Shirley Turner and Adam Drzazga made the STA B-Finals and rank number 10 and 11 in the World. Beci Ryan qualified for the DNF and STA B-Finals. Lucelle Simms narrowly missed out on the DYN finals with a solid 166m swim. Jason Kirkpatrick at his first World Championships and his second ever competition did brilliantly, his performance in DYN was impressive, swimming 124m in bi-fins, not an easy feat.

With the Pool World Championship over, we now look forward to the AIDA Depth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus. The UK Team and sponsors will be announced very soon, so watch this space!

Alice Hickson World Champion Freediver, wins Gold & sets 2nd British National Record at Pool World Championships in Belgrade!

Alice Hickson Freediving World Champion HGold Medal

Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (

On Thursday 25 June in Belgrade, Serbia, at the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships, Alice Hickson won a gold medal and with it the title of World Champion Freediver by swimming a staggering 174m on one breath of air without the aid of fins! Smashing her British national record set just a few days before by 21m.

Alice Hickson, 25, a swim coach and studying Occupational Therapist part-time, has only been freediving for eight months. Earlier this year, in March, Alice made her first impression on the freediving scene by winning the ‘Best Female Newcomer’ at the National Pool championships (The Great Northern) in Liverpool:

In Belgrade at the Championships, just a few days previously, on Sunday 21 June, Alice started getting noticed by swimming 153m in dynamic no fins (DNF) with complete ease, breaking the previous UK national record of 145m, set by Rebecca Coales at The Great Northern on 24 March 2014. The distance also secured her a place in the A Finals of the World Championships and at that time ranked her third in the World.

Of her two dynamic no fins competition dives, both setting national records and the second placing her at first place on the podium at the World Championships, Alice had this to say:

“I was excited to come to the World championships as I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the competitive world of freediving and gain some experience. I’ve only ever done one other completion so I didn’t know what to expect but so far its been amazing and totally overwhelming, in a good way. The day before the competition I started getting really nervous and doubted my ability to compete against some of the best people in the sport. But then I remembered why I was here, for experience and to enjoy it so I told my self just ‘do your best’ and that’s all you can do. So during my first dive I kept that thought and made it into the finals, whist setting a new national record. I was chuffed. Then it was time for the finals, I used the same motto to calm my nerves but at the last minute before official top, I felt my heart racing and the last thing I thought is that whatever happens I’ve come eighth.”

Alice looks set to be a World Class athlete and we are excited to watch her journey as it unfolds.

The BFA are delighted to introduce the UK Team for the 2015 Individual AIDA Pool World Championship in Belgrade, Serbia


Bounce Balls

Beet It

The BFA are delighted to introduce the UK Team for the 2015 Individual AIDA Pool World Championship in Belgrade, Serbia (

The competition will run from 21st to 27th June and we are sending a team of 9 athletes, three of whom hold Wild Cards* (which means they ranked top ten in the world for one or more of the three pool competition disciplines), they are: Alice Hickson, Beci Ryan, Georgina Miller, Lucelle Simms, Rebecca Coales and Shirley Turner for the women and Adam Drzazga, Jason Kirkpatrick and Jay Cluskey for the men. The UK Team are all self-funded and to help them perform their very best they are being generously supported by sponsors Divesangha (, Bounce Energy Balls ( and Beet-it (

Divesangha ( is made up of designers based in London; they are motivated by passion, uniqueness, innovation and a love for the sea. The word “sangha” means “association” or “community” in Pali and Sanskrit. They design and create basic, easy to wear clothes that give divers a proper identity. They call it “divewear” or “surface gear” and the designs mix fashion and sportswear, using functional fabrics and neutral colours. They manufacture ethically and locally, trade fairly, design wisely and consume responsibly. The divewear clothes are made in the UK as an exclusive, limited edition and they don’t use any plastic bags in their packaging when you buy from the website. This is the first time that Divesangha have sponsored the UK Team, we are delighted to have them on-board and the athletes will be proud to wear their surface gear!

Bounce Energy Balls ( are an amazingly convenient and tasty way to nourish your body, satisfy your hunger and sustain your energy. Bounce Energy Balls are a special combination of high quality proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and essential fats. After a freediving session, recovery is of great importance and the Bounce Energy Balls have all the necessary ingredients to help our athletes do so. This is the second year running that Bounce have supported our athletes and we are pleased to have them back this year.

Beet-it ( uses 100% natural ingredients and the Beet-it Sport shot juice drink delivers a dose of 0.4g dietary nitrates per shot. The beetroot juice shots are now the preferred delivery method used by research teams to boost nitric oxide (NO) levels in the blood. Nutrition is extremely important to freedivers and we are excited to see how the Beet-it Sports range of drinks and bars, boost and prepare our bodies before an apnea session. It is brilliant to have Beet-it back as a sponsor for the team this year.

Would you like to sponsor the UK Team? If so please visit our website for more information, or contact our Sponsorship Officer Jay Cluskey:

Aida Pool World Championships Belgrade 2013

July 2013; — At the end of June (21st to 30th), the UK team upon arrival in Belgrade, Serbia, walked into a heat wave that was engulfing the city, with temperatures soaring into the 40’s. This year we had a 10 strong team equally divided between men and women and made up of both experienced athletes and some new faces:


  • Rebecca Coales
  • Dan Betts
  • Georgina Miller (Captain)
  • Adam De La Mare
  • Liv Philip
  • Adam Drzazga
  • Beci Ryan
  • Marcus Greatwood
  • Lucelle Simms
  • Mark Gooding


The excitement from the start was palpable. Day 1 started with the men and women’s Dynamic No Fins (DNF) and the team delivered some solid performances. Liv Philip and Dan Betts each swam a strong and clean 112 m and Rebecca Coales swam a personal best of 109 m. Day 2 was when the Dynamic competitors got to put on their choice of fin (monofin or bifins) to whizz them through the pool. There were some long swims delivered, in particular by Adam Drzazga (149 m), Dan Betts (143 m) and Mark Gooding (136 m) for the men, and Liv Philip (134 m), Lucelle Simms (131 m) and Georgina Miller (130 m) for the women. There were also some good personal performances from team members Marcus Greatwood, Adam De La Mare, Beci Ryan and Rebecca.

On day 3 the temperatures dropped dramatically, something many competitors had not expected. Temperature can be a very tricky thing for freedivers to contend with in any discipline – if the conditions are too hot the dive reflex can be slow to kick in and if it is very cold shivering can commence and once it does it is extremely hard to relax and this can be detrimental for a long breath hold. Despite the conditions two members of the team, Lucelle Simms and Adam Drzazga, battled through and earned themselves a spot in the B finals. Both Lucelle and Adam excelled again second time round in the final, performing personal best times and securing 13th place respectively on the board.

World Championships are never boring and this competition was no exception. Three World Records were broken in the Women’s DNF Finals alone – firstly by Amber Bourke of Australia who a few strokes later was overtaken by Katarina Turcinovic of Croatia, who in turn was bypassed by Natalia Molchanova as she swam further still, stealing the show and the world record at a massive 182 meters. But that wasn’t it for Natalia, she went on to break the Dynamic World Record the following day by swimming 234 meters and then again the day after, she finished it all off with a hat trick by holding her breath in the Static Final for an incredible 9 minutes and 2 seconds, beating the men along the way! The team was also privileged to watch Croatian Goran Colak break the men’s Dynamic World Record with a mammoth 281 meters. There were many National Records broken, too many to mention and suffice to say it was an exciting few days with many memorable performances.

Next up we have the AIDA 2013 Depth World Championship in Kalamata in September to look forward to and we will be sure to keep you all posted!

For more information contact the British Freediving Association at: <href=””>

All photo credits go to Daan Verhoeven