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Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

Robert Strauss (USA)

2019 Virginia Hunt Newman Award

Sponsored by Kiefer


Professor Robert Strauss, M. Ed. has dedicated his professional career to aquatics. Through aquatic education, he has enriched the lives of babies, toddlers, school-age children, teens and adults, assisting them in discovering how to be safer and stronger swimmers. Coach Robert is well known for the development of instructional skills based on soft-touch and soft-voice; these skills have been taught to thousands of teachers around the world.


Coach Strauss and his life partner, Jennie, founded Swim Gym in 1984; re-inventing the swim school business in a warehouse. After several moves, in the fall of 2012, the Swim Gym Swim School opened its doors at the Galbut JCC in Miami Beach, its present home and only location.


Swim Gym is one of the Top 25 authorized providers of the American Red Cross in the South Florida Chapter, and includes certification of water safety instructors and life guards, as well as the learn to swim program, that teaches an average 500 children per week during the school year and approximately 1000 children per week during the summer camps.


Most educators teach their subject in a classroom; Coach Strauss teaches water wisdom in a warm water pool, and coaches in a semi-Olympic pool, fast swimming.


From 1979 to present, Strauss has contributed to learn to swim and competitive swimming conferences around the globe: México, his country of birth, numerous countries in South and Central America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China & Iceland. He is a well sought-after speaker, as he is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.


Strauss’ vision, is that every person should have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to safely enter and exit a body of water; he believes, the value is through the art form of swimming, people learn to pay attention, to share, to cooperate, to wait their turn, to become valuable team members, and most important be safe in, around and under water; his mission is ‘To eradicate drowning from our communities, through education’; his objective, is to assist all participants to discover swimming in order to find the joy and passion coupled to the benefits inherent to swimming in particular and water sports in general.


And lastly, his Goal: Everyone should be Water Wise.

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