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Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

2004 Rob McKay


Rob McKay has spent 23 years of his adult career devoted to teaching infants to swim. It is no accident that it was also 23 years ago that Rob first met and was inspired by Virginia Hunt Newman.


Virginia’s pioneering advocacy of a gentle, positive approach to teaching infants to swim instilled in Rob a passion to create the most stimulating, child-friendly, educationally sound and developmentally appropriate swim school possible.


Rob’s mission along with his wife Kathy has resulted in his nationally acclaimed Lifestyle Swim School in Boca Raton, Florida; his instructional video series, “Diaper Dolphins;” an upcoming book entitled Baby Swim School, published by DK Publishing of London; and an informational website, “Baby Swimming – the Gentle Journey” at www.babyswimming.com.


The McKays have authored and been the featured subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles nationally and internationally. Rob and Virginia were featured in a video press release on infant swimming for the national product release of Huggies brand “Little Swimmers” diapers. They also appeared together in the Discovery Channel’s World of Wonder program which aired in 50 countries during a five-year period. Japan’s Nippon television network featured Rob, Kathy and their baby students in a special entitled “Charismatic Teachers.”


A frequent speaker at national and international conferences and workshops, Rob is a board member of the World Aquatic Baby Congress and a member of the Congress of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of the National Swim School Association. McKay has trained numerous teachers in his gentle, child-paced, non-traumatic methods both from across the U.S. and around the world including Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.


A former high school All-American swimmer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a collegiate scholar-athlete for Florida State University, Rob also held records as a Masters swimmer and continues to swim for health and fitness. Rob learned to swim at the age of three.

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