Shaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed

Nothing else matters but the ocean

About the Talk

Nothing else matters but the ocean

Ocean sports and recreational activities can have a profound effect on healing, from our overall wellbeing to mental health and dealing with stress. How can more safe ocean spaces and being connected to nature heal our societies, even down to decreasing issues such as substance abuse?


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Meet the Speaker

Former Vice President of both the Maldives Surfing Association and the Diving Association of the Maldives, Shaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed is a professional diver and surfer, as well as a passionate advocate for ocean conservation and women in surfing. In 2001, she competed in the men’s division of the Maldives’ National Bodyboarding Competition as the only female participant. She went on to work as a dive instructor and surf instructor at resorts and surf schools across the archipelago, setting up her own resort watersports company with her partner, following the birth of her daughter in 2014.  Over the last two decades, Saazu’s activism has seen her collaborate with numerous regional environmental NGOs, as well as being Founder and Vice Chairperson of Save Our Waves, an NGO dedicated to protecting the Maldives’ surf breaks, and Co-Founder of Raalhu Edhuru, a movement to teach children the basics of surfing.

In early 2019, she joined three other women on an unprecedented 100-kilometre stand up paddleboarding expedition around the Baa Atoll to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution, climate change and ghost fishing nets on the region’s fragile marine ecosystems. In the same year, Saazu received the National Award for her contribution to diving over the last two decades. More recently, Saazu became a member of the Vision Council for the World Surfing Reserves, and in 2022, launched AlohaBeachClub, a community-based project that provides a safe and fun environment through the ocean.

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