The International Swimming Hall of Fame announces the 2024 ISHOF Specialty Awards

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is proud to announce this year’s recipients of the ISHOF Specialty Awards.  The ISHOF Specialty Awards are presented annually to individuals for outstanding contributions to aquatics.  This year’s awards will be presented on Friday evening, October 4th in conjunction with the ISHOF Aquatic Awards, presented by AquaCal and the 59th annual ISHOF Honoree Induction weekend, October 4-5, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Ticket information will be forthcoming shortly or call 570 594-4367.

This year’s 2024 ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients:

Ian Hugh McAllister – Buck Dawson Author Award:  Lost Olympics: The Hilda James Story

Dominic Calabro – Every Child A Swimmer Award

Sandra Rossi Madormo – Virginia Hunt Newman Award  

Rodna Metz Bordner –  John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award 

Peter Diamond – Al Schoenfield Media Award

Ian Hugh McAllister (GBR) – 2024 Buck Dawson Authors Award 

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Buck Dawson Author’s Award is Ian Hugh McAllister for his book, Lost Olympics, The Hilda James Story.  This award is presented by ISHOF in the name of William F. “Buck” Dawson, ISHOF’s founding Executive Director, to an author of work that promotes, educates or entertains individuals about aquatics.

 Ian McAllister

After a 30 year on and off research project about the life and times of his remarkable Grandmother Hilda James, Ian finally began writing in earnest during late 2011. The resulting book, Lost Olympics, was the long-awaited family history. Along the way he learned that Hilda was even more of a character than the determined old lady he had known as a child. He unearthed some dark and sometimes controversial family secrets that needed to be aired as part of the narrative.

In early 2015 Ian was appointed as the English Administrator at 10 Minute Novelists, an increasingly respected and busy Facebook community for writers at all levels of experience and aspirations. He was MC at their first live conference in Cincinnati, during August 2018.

About Buck Dawson: Dawson was a veteran of WWII who served as assistant and publicist for Generals Gavin and Ridgeway in the 82nd Airborne. From the time he was chosen to lead ISHOF in 1962, until his death in 2008, Buck traveled the world armed with Hall of Fame brochures, books, and bumper stickers. He was always spreading the word, and always willing to talk and teach swimming and swimming history to anyone who would listen. He wrote hundreds of articles and was the author of eight books, ranging in subjects from bathing beauties to war, but especially swimming.

Dominic Calabro — 2024 Every Child A Swimmer Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Every Child A Swimmer Award is Dominic Calabro.  The Every Child A Swimmer Award is presented to someone for their long and exceptional leadership, insight, and dedication to the water safety of children and the cause of making “Every Child A Swimmer”. 

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida TaxWatch, Dominic leads a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to enhancing government efficiency, limited government, advocating for taxpayers, and fostering informed citizen engagement.  Founded in 1979, Florida TaxWatch’s rigorous and nationally respected research has shed much light on the impact of tax and spending decisions, ensuring that Floridians’ livelihoods and quality of life are stronger and better than ever. Calabro has made it his life’s mission to improve government productivity, enhance taxpayer value, and deepen citizen understanding.

Calabro has been a proactive supporter of Every Child A Swimmer (ECAS) since the first meeting in 2020 regarding the passage of the Every Child a Swimmer legislation.  He has opened doors to the key players in the Florida Legislature and the Department of Education for ECAS to accomplish the enactment of the legislation.  Calabro also had a research study done regarding the cost of drowning in the state of Florida and a second voter survey, during the Trump-Biden Presidential election of 2020, that confirmed that 90% of the registered voters in Florida supported the concept that every child should be taught to swim.  This was extremely important during the passage of the legislation in 2020.  Recently, Calabro provided behind the scenes help in having $500,000 budgeted for swim lessons for children statewide.

About G. Harold Martin: Back in 1908, G. Harold Martin almost drowned in the Ohio River. Over the next two decades drowned two more times. From these experiences evolved a mission to make “Every Child A Swimmer.” His civic involvement led to the building of Fort Lauderdale’s first municipal pool in 1927. Kiwanian sponsored free swim lessons at the pool, and eventually influenced the decision by ISHOF to be in Fort Lauderdale. An active Kiwanian his entire adult life, he was instrumental in making the Key Club an integral club within Kiwanis International and the adoption of Every Child A Swimmer as a Kiwanian project.

Sandra Rossi Madormo (BRA) — 2024 Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Sandra Rossi Madormo  will be the 2024 recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman International Award.

Sandra Rossi Madormo is the co-founder and Technical Director of INATI – Child Swimming Institute, with a mission to develop  swimming lessons for children in her home country of Brazil as well as promoting water safety to reduce drownings, especially among children. In 2012, through INATI, she co-created the National Water Safety Campaign, which gathers swimming schools, clubs, and aquatic activity professionals nationwide. The campaign has grown into the largest water safety movement in the sector, transforming how Brazilian swimming schools and teachers include water safety in their curriculum.

She received the Inclusive Good Practices Award from the World Association of Special Education in Cuba and the 2019 Physical Education Medal from the Regional Council of Physical Education of São Paulo.

This year she completes 43 years of uninterrupted work as a teacher of baby and children’s swimming, dedicating a significant part of her classes in recent years to children with disabilities. 

About Virginia Hunt Newman: Newman was a swimming instructor of infants, and is best known for developing the non-forceful, non-traumatic method of teaching infants to swim.  Her methods and distraction from normal fears associated with learning to swim and rewards for trying and performing skills, have been accepted by thousands of swim instructors world-wide.

Rodna Metz Bordner (USA) — 2024 John K. Williams, Jr. Adapted Aquatics Award

The Adapted Aquatics Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Rodna Metz Bordner  will receive the 2024 John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award. The annual award, honoring individuals or organizations who have made significant and substantial contributions to the field of adaptive aquatics.

Rodna Metz Bordner began her career as a Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard in 1968.  She taught wherever she could, as either a professional or volunteer, and was always drawn to working with young children in the pool, especially those that were either physically or cognitively challenged.   In 1982, she became an Occupational Therapist, and in 1994 she began to blend her aquatic skills with her occupational therapy career. She then began providing aquatic occupational therapy to children with multiple disabilities. 

In 1995, Bordner attended her first ATRI event and began presenting in 1999.   In 2001, she received the ATRI Tsunami Award (Aquatics Award for Innovation in the Aquatic Industry) for her work with individuals with Autism and Sensory Processing challenges. She eventually retired from school-based practice in 2005 and began working in the rehab setting as a pediatric Occupational Therapist. 

Peter Diamond — 2024 Al Schoenfield Media Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Al Schoenfield Media Award will be Peter Diamond for outstanding contributions to the promotion of aquatic sports through journalism. This award is presented by ISHOF in memory of Al Schoenfield.

A 16-time Emmy Award-winner, Peter C. Diamond served as Executive Vice President, Programming, NBC Olympics, and was responsible for programming NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games. The 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, marked his 19th and final Olympic assignment – more than any broadcast network executive in television history.

During his tenure, Diamond worked on a regular basis with the international Olympic sports federations and the national governing bodies of Olympic sports in the U.S. Diamond also coordinated NBC Sports Group’s presentation of the U.S. Olympic Trials. He also coordinated year-round Olympic-sport programming, which significantly increased in 2015 when NBCUniversal acquired Universal Sports Network assets, and again in July 2017 when NBCUniversal partnered with the IOC and USOC to launch Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, a 24/7 U.S. cable channel dedicated to Olympic sports and programming.

Diamond won Sports Emmy Awards for his work on NBC’s coverage of the Seoul Olympics in 1988 (2), Barcelona in 1992 (2), Atlanta in 1996 (2), Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002, Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 (2), London in 2012, Sochi in 2014, and Rio in 2016.

About Al Schoenfield: He was the Editor and Publisher of Swimming World Magazine (1960-1977) and served on various international committees of swimming, including the FINA Technical Swimming Committee (1980-1984).  Schoenfield’s life was a commitment to swimming, and he participated in its administrative structure and spread its stories through his magazines and promotions.  Al died in 2005, but his legacy will forever endure to all who have benefited from his lifetime of service to swimming.

Additional Awards During 59th Annual Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend

2024 ISHOF Aquatic Awards presented by AquaCal

2024 ISHOF Aquatic Awards presented by AquaCal Recipients:

Competitive Swimming:  Jay Thomas (USA)

Water Polo:  Pedro and Cristiana Pinciroli (BRA)

Competitive Diving: Sheilagh Boudia (USA)

Synchronized Swimming: Sandra Roberts (CAN)

Aquatic Safety:  Chris and Jenny McCuiston (USA)

Recreational Swimming:  Beth Root (USA)


The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.   

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