The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.
2007 Paragon Award / Aquatic Safety
Judith Sperling (USA) / Independent Consultant in Aquatic Safety
For more than 30 years, Judith Sperling has been involved in the field of recreational swimming and aquatic safety in both her home state of California as well as on a national level. She is a graduate cum laude of California State University, Long Beach with majors in Science, Marine Biology and Zoology and holds numerous aquatic certifications.
Judith began her career in recreation as a lifeguard and has been the Aquatic Supervisor for the City of Long Beach and Aquatics Director for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has also served as a part time faculty member at California State University, Long Beach and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona teaching courses in Aquatic Facility Management. Currently she serves as the
Assistant Director-Risk Management, Training & Development for UCLA Recreation and as an independent consultant in aquatic safety, providing litigation support to the legal field. Judith has been a frequent speaker at state and national conferences and author of articles on subjects including, aquatic safety and risk management, aquatic codes and regulations, aquatic legal issues and the expert witness. Judith has also devoted herself to many years of volunteer leadership including serving as President of the National Recreation and Park Association's (NRPA) Aquatic Branch, Instructor with the National Aquatic Management School of the NRPA, National Advisory Group of the American Red Cross for Lifeguard Training, Lifeguard Management and Aquatic Examiner Service and as a member of the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association Aquatics Committee.
In California, she has served on the Aquatic Advisory Committee to the California State Department of Health Services and as President of Southern California Public Pool Operator's Association. She has presented over 34 papers with 14 publications on all aspects of recreational swimming to help ensure meaningful programs and safety. She currently volunteers as the Aquatics Section Legislative Representative for the California Park and Recreation Society monitoring legislation affecting aquatics. Throughout her career and volunteer service Judith has promoted aquatic safety, teaching and freely sharing her experience with others. She continues to be a teacher and mentor, inspiring young aquatic professionals to become leaders, many of whom have received national recognition.