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Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

2006 Terje Stakset

 

Terje Stakset was selected for as the 2006 recipient for his commitment and being a wonderful example of Virginia Newman's gentle methods of teaching babies to swim, giving voice to those not yet able to speak for themselves.

 

Terje represents Virginia's philosophy not only in the pool as an instructor, but also in his conference presentations and uniquely in the theater as the producer of his one-man stage show of the evolution of gentle baby swimming. This ingenious production pays tribute to Virginia, and follows her vision of using play and kindness, not force and tears to teach babies to swim. His father was a swimming teacher for 25 years.

 

Terje traveled from his home in Norway to receive the award in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the Swimming Hall of Fame's annual ceremonies, on May 12, 2006. Mr. Stakset is the third individual to receive this prestigious international recognition.

 

Terje, a graduate of the Business Academy of Oslo, is currently manager of the Norwegian Lifesaving Federation in Oslo and Baerum. He has been an instructor in swimming and life saving for 27 years and a teacher of baby swimming for 15 years. Moreover, he trains instructors in swimming, baby swimming, lifesaving, CPR and first aid and for 27 years he was the vice-president of the Norwegian Lifesaving Association.

 

In 1990 and 1991, his team won the Norwegian National Lifesaving Championship for male teams. In 1992, he represented Norway in the World Championships in Sweden.

 

Terje's baby swim school is part of the Oslo and Baerum District of the Norwegian Lifesaving Association. He has been an advocate of Virginia Hunt Newman's gentle approach to teaching babies to swim. He has been an international speaker at Newman's World Aquatic Baby Congress conferences in France and Hawaii as well as a international conference in Helsinki, Finland. In October 2004 he was Director for the Nordic Conference on Baby Swimming in Oslo. In 2002 he produced a baby swim video "The Truthful Face of Baby Swim". In April 2006 he completed a second DVD titled: "How to Teach Young Children to Swim."

 

Terje is a wonderful example of Virginia's gentle methods of teaching babies to swim, giving voice to those not yet able to speak for themselves. Terje's leadership and commitment represent Virginia's philosophy not only in the pool as an instructor, but also in his conference presentations. Through his use of poetry and unique theatrical acting when producing his one-man stage show, he "shows off" the evolution of the gentle baby swimming approach. This ingenious production - entitled "Baby Swim Fro the Very Start and Into the Future" pays tribute to Virginia, and follows her vision of using play and kindness, not force and tears to teach babies to swim.

 

Using a poetic verse to describe his feelings for Virginia's method of teaching Terje writes:

Virginia Hunt Newman was a Pioneer,

And She Made It Quite Clear,

Non-Forceful is the Only Way,

And in That Direction it Has to Stay,

Be Gentle from the Very Start,

If You're Going to be Smart.

 

Terje is 47 years old, married and has two sons.

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