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.
Stathis Avramidis, PhD Researcher (GRE)
PT Lecturer in Aquatics, Leeds Metropolitan University,UK
2009 Paragon Award / Aquatic Safety
Thirty-five year old Stathis Avramidis from Greece has been involved in the aquatics since the age of six. He has become one of the most dedicated water safety advocates in the world and probably knows more about water safety in the USA than most Americans. During his life he has served and popularized aquatics and water safety on a national and international scale as an athlete, safety professional, academic, author, researcher, media professional and top world model. He placed nine times in the top three rankings of the Greek national championships as water polo player and lifeguard as well as serving as lifesaving coach in international competitions.
He holds a BSc in Sport Science & Physical Education (graduating with the highest mark among 105 graduates), a Diploma on Physical Education of Disabled (Athens University, Greece), an MSc in Sport & Exercise and is currently working towards the completion of his PhD on drowning at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He also holds 37 Senior Tutor certifications for qualifying trainers and over 100 certifications on water safety related subjects from organizations in 13 countries. Stathis works as permanent Lecturer (PT) in Aquatics in Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) and has served the water safety industry in various positions (e.g. water safety primary school teacher, first-aider, lifeguard/head lifeguard) in Athens 2004 Olympics, water parks and Mediterranean, European and World aquatic sporting activities.
During his career he has performed over 80 rescues, and taught the concept of water safety to over 8,000 people of all age groups with various academic background and abilities/disabilities in 15 different countries. He has been a member of 13 international water safety organizations in seven countries. Despite his young age, Stathis is one of the very few authors in the world having authored eight aquatic safety books and over 187 publications (chapters, DVD's, magazine articles, conference proceedings and research). His greatest achievement was the editing of the Handbook on Safety and Lifesaving in which he brought together 144 co-authors from 22 countries for contributing on their area of expertise about safety and lifesaving on land, in air and in water.
Stathis has promoted water safety in all types of media in Greece and abroad. He has worked as a journalist in over nine aquatic magazines and newspapers and as a radio broadcaster of the program Life-guarding without a Teacher. He is a frequently invited conference or keynote speaker and has spoken over 542 times on 33 TV channels about water safety and life-guarding. He has also promoted aquatic safety through his career as a top international male model by speaking to the media when he was awarded the top male model four times in national or world contests. During his career, Stathis has received over 30 awards in seven countries for his contributions to aquatic safety.