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G. Harold Martin Award

Dr. Jane Katz

2016 Judge G. Harold Martin Award


Dr. Jane Katz has been on the aquatic stage for most of her life. She has taught thousands of students about the benefits of water fitness at the City University of New York since 1964. She is a professor at John Jay College in the Department of Physical Education and Athletics, teaching fitness and swimming to New York City’s police and firefighters.


Dr. Katz has been recognized for her work as an educator, aquatics innovator and author. Among the many prestigious honors for her work is the Townsend Harris Academic Medal from her Alma Mater, CCNY, an award bestowed to fellow alumnus, former Secretary of State Colin Powell.


Dr. Katz earned her Bachelor’s degree in physical education at the City College of New York, a Master’s in Education Administration from New York University and both a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation for Aging and her Doctor of Education degree in Gerontology from Columbia University.


Dr. Jane Katz was awarded the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) Certificate of Merit for her “dedication and contribution to the development” of the sport of swimming, awarded in Sydney, Australia, during the XXVII Olympiad in 2000.


In 2007, Katz helped create the KARE (Kids Aquatic Re-Entry), in cooperation with the Department of Juvenile Justice to help troubled youth learn life’s lessons poolside. Jane has been helping kids from troubled backgrounds since the mid 1980’s learn how to swim, and in the process, learn to trust someone new and have a little fun as well. Katz volunteers her time and usually pays the lifeguards out of her own pocket. The kids usually come from a group home or a correctional facility and time in the pool is a real freedom for them. They may be reluctant at first, but by the time Jane gets done with them, they have experienced a little piece of heaven.


Jane’s life was shaped by swimming in the city’s public pool’s, she has said and she wound up dedicating her life to teaching swimming, for which she has been honored many, many times.


In 2014, she was awarded from the Presidents’ Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in aquatics.


In 2015, Dr. Katz launched W.E.T. 4 VETS, a service for rehabilitating the mind, body and spirit of military veterans re-entering civilian life using holistic exercise techniques.

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