TV, Media, Talks, World Travel, Adventure, Awards, Events 2009 back to 2002



United Kingdom,  Oct. 11, 2009
Rob and Kathy McKay with WABC president Steve Graves, honoring 2009 Virginia Hunt Newman award winner, anthropology professor and baby swimming author/expert, Dr. Francoise Barbira Freedman at Cambridge University.


Kathy and Francoise crossing the old wooden foot bridge (known as the Mathematical bridge) into the awe-inspiring and regal 800 year old Queens college, at Cambridge University. In addition to being a prolific author, Francoise is also the founder of Birthlight, a charity focusing on the holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and babyhood.



England Rob and Kathy McKay  presented a one day baby swimming work-shop during WABC 2009, held at Lauren Heston’s  Little Dippers Baby Swim School in Brighton, England on Oct. 6th.  WABC 2009 World Aquatic Babies Congress the 10th Biennial International educational conference for leading learn-to-swim program directors and teachers. link: WABC 2009

25 participants attended Rob and Kathie’s pre-WABC workshop, from Greece, Israel, Japan, The Philippines, Bermuda and the United Kingdom.



Kathy and Rob presented their talk to the international WABC audience, entitled “Are you Hands Where Your Heart Is?”



South Beach (Miami) to Palm Beach.  This WB network news show  featured the babies and parents of the Lifestyle Swim School on Wednesday, July 8, between 7:00 and 9:00 am. Veteran reporter Karen Posada covered the segment. This unique news show is simulcast on both TV and the internet (“simultaneous broadcast”, ).   In Boca Raton, South Florida Live appears on Comcast TV channel 14.


POLAND  Rob McKay conducted two day work-shop for (PSPN) 

The Polish Association of Baby Swimming       Krakow, March 21-22, 2009



Over 90 swim school directors, owners and teachers participated in Rob McKay’s baby swimming workshop for PSPN, in Krakow, Poland
Dr. Ewa Dybinska of the prestigious Sports Academy University, in Krakow with PSPN president and founder Iwona Turant.

Rob conducted a water session viewed by attendees some who traveled over 12 hours from as far as Gdansk on the Baltic Sea. Many other cities and towns were represented including a number of schools from Warsaw.


Poland TV 3 Interviewing Rob


PSPN Vice President and conference organizer Magdalena Dąbrowska-Gawrysiak. Rob’s teaching assistant for the week-end Ada from Bema, demonstrated our team teaching approach.



The Amazing Team Bema, Rob’s hosts in Krakow. Left to right Dr. Grazyna Kosiba, Ada: baby swim teacher, Lena: translator, tour guide, driver and teacher, Marek Kosiba: Owner of BEMA sports programs, former college professor, Krakow conference organizer,  and Rob’s main host.

Kasia and Rob at Oskar Schindler’s factory made famous from Steven Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List.


The Tyniec Abbey and Monastery was founded in the 11th century. It is beautifully located on a limestone hill in the village of Piekary; over looking Marek’s pool, bringing harmony and prosperity.

Marek and Rob planning for the workshop.



Florida: Three Newman Award Winners Meet to discuss positive, non-traumatic swim lesson experiences…  April 4th and 5th, 2009

Included was author and teacher Kathy McKay

Terje Stakset Head of Norwegian Lifesaving Association and Baby Swimming Oslo, Norway, Kathy McKay, Rob McKay, Steve Graves President World Aquatic Baby Congress

These swimming leaders met to discuss ways to educate parents on identifying programs that are concerned about the well being and happiness of children during their swim lessons. Many programs say they are positive, or non-traumatic but are actually forcing the children against their will, creating fear of learning, fear of teachers and fear of the water. The goal of this group is to provide a loving and warm learning environment for all children through-out the world. “Do no harm, fear contracts, love expands”. If children are crying or struggling in a swim class something is amiss. The true test is, does you child look forward to attending swim class.


Florida:    YMCA National Masters Swimming Championships at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex,

April 17,18 ,19 2009    Rob met his old Cedar Rapids, Iowa YMCA teammates for their 40 year reunion. They were the 1969 runner-up and 1970-1971 National YMCA Champions.

We reunited after 40 years and once again swam as a team, in honor of our devoted coach Jim Gilchrist

Then 1970 Springfield, Illinois

Check out back row/middle


Now 2009 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Who’s the guy in the blue Cedar Rapids, sweatshirt



200 free relay with the Krizan boys, Dan, Ken and Tim sons of legendary Washington High School coach Hal Krizan


Rob with teammate all around great guy John Kinsella, former world record holder in the swimming mile and 1970 Sullivan Award winner. The Sullivan Award is known as the Oscar of sports awards.


TV, Media, Talks, Awards, Events 2008


International Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Week-end 2008


Professor Jose Fontanelli of Sao Paolo, Brazil, the 2008 Newman award winner, for compassionate and gentle baby swimming, May 10, 2008.

Rob McKay and Professor Jose Fontanelli posing with tribute to Jacques Cousteau at the International Swimming Hall of Fame 2008 Award Ceremonies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

One Step Ahead: Our book featured in premier infant toddler catalog One Step Ahead Baby – Beach & Pool Fun summer 2008


Ebabymagazine Featured in April 2008 issue


TV, Media, Talks, Awards, Events 2007


Rob and Kathy in St. Petersburg, Florida, with friend the forever young Dr. Don Ardell, world age group triathlon champion and global speaker and author on wellness and health.


Kathy presented a talk at World Aquatic Baby Congress Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, Oct. 2007


St. Petersburg, Florida  World Aquatic Babies Congress World Aquatic Babies & Children 9th International WABC educational conference – for leading learn-to-swim teachers and program directors, October 21, 22, & 23, 2007


Monday  22 October  2007

Panel Presentation
by Newman Award Winners
Newman Award Winners: Rob McKay, Terje Stakset, Yoko Yagishita

Rob McKay – United States
Co-Owner of Lifestyle Swim School
Boca Raton, Fla. USA
Co Author: Learn to Swim (book); Diaper Dolphins I & II  (dvds) and
The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years (book – co-author of chapter on baby swimming)Recipient of the Inaugural Virginia Hunt Newman Award in 2004.  His ‘gentle journey’ philosophy and methods adopted widely in the US and around the world for babies and young children in developing aquatic skill and the joy for the water.

Terje Stakset – Norway
A Very Gentle Start and SupermanManager of the Norwegian Lifesaving Federation in Oslo & Barium, Norway
Author: The Truthful Face of Baby Swim and How to Teach Young Children to Swim (dvds)Recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman Award 2006.  Second generation swim teacher. He has been an instructor in swimming and life saving for 27 years, and a teacher of baby swimming for 16 years. Moreover, he trains instructors in swimming, baby swimming, lifesaving, CPR and first aid.

Yoko Yagishita-Japan
Director of Swimming for club openings for the Tipness clubsRecipient of the 2007 Virginia Hunt Newman Award. She has revamped or created baby swim programs in over five cities and in doing has trained over 500 teachers.Combined the best of Western technique with Eastern to make a culture and community of nurture, joy and fun for mothers, fathers and their babies.  Scheduled to open program in the Tokyo National Gymnasium.


Tuesday  23 October  2007

Kathy McKay- United States
Co-Owner of Lifestyle Swim School
Boca Raton, Fla. USA
Co Author:
Learn to Swim (book)
Diaper Dolphins I & II  (dvd)
The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years – (co-author of the book’s chapter on baby swimming) – The Gentle Journey is one of the most viewed and linked-to baby swimming sites on the Internet. In the pool teaching and learning and now sharing her experience and techniques from the highly renowned Lifestyle Swim School program.


Toddler Magazine     Water Smarts            Summer Issue  2007

How to help your toddler to get comfortable in the water. With Rob and Kathy McKay.








Fitness Magazine, Mind, Body, Spirit          August 2007 issue

Family fitness make-over page 94. Age and Activity  3 to 18 months. Rob and Kathy McKay



New Zealand  Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association of New Zealand (NZSCAT)  May 24, 25, 26, 2007

Wellington, New Zealand, NZSCAT conference, Rob McKay international guest speaker. Also conducted baby swimming workshop.


Brett Naylor, President of the New Zealand Swim Coaches and Teachers Association with Rob McKay on Top of the Mountain Reserve several thousand feet STRAIGHT up over Christchurch, NZ.


Rob with Kiwi friend in Queenstown, New Zealand at the wharf.


Rob McKay conducted an in water demonstration baby swim class to an audience of teachers and swim school owners, at Swim City in Wellington, New Zealand.



Mystical Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu with the Remarkables mountain range as the backdrop, South Island,  New Zealand.



International Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Week-end

Fort Lauderdale, Florida,  May 11-12, 2007

Rob, Kathy, Heather and Brianne McKay were honored to attend the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday evening. Rob and Steve Graves (president of  the World Aquatic and Babies and Childrens Congress) presented Tokyo’s Yoko Yagishita with this years Virginia Hunt Newman award. For background on the award see the Hall of Fame paragraph below. (May 8th, 2004)


Steve Graves President of WABC, Yoko Yagishita and Rob

Rob with Jim Ellis who’s life is portrayed in  the movie Pride


Olympic Champion Amy Van Dyken, Yoko and Rob



New York  Book Launch, October 12, 2006


Expert contributors Rob and Kathy McKay attended the launch party for The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years on Thursday, October 12th, in New York City, Times Square. The party benefited Baby Buggy and was  hosted by Jessica Seinfeld (wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld). Compiled by creator Samantha Ettus, the book features 100 experts on baby’s first years. The McKay’s chapter is entitled “Introducing Your Baby to Swimming: the Pearls of the Pool”  Among fellow expert contributors are nationally recognized psychologists, pediatricians, authors and child care experts. Included are Dr. Bill Sears (pediatrician  and author of 30 books on child care) Dr. Gail Saltz (mental health contributor on NBC’s “Today” show) , Pauline Frommer (of the famous travel guides), and designers Liz Lang, Kate Spade and Lucy Sykes



Kathy and Rob McKay with fellow Expert “Iron Chef” Cat Cora at the New York launch party






London  Book Launch, April 9th, 2005

DK/Penguin Publishing of London/New York announces the Spring 2005 release of Rob and Kathy McKay’s book, “Learn to Swim”. The 128 page book outlines the couple’s  philosophy and features  step-by-step how-to’s  for parents and teachers of children 6 months through 4 years old. As with all DK books, visually appealing photos and unique graphic layouts draw the reader to the page. Rob and Kathy’s small swim students and their parents grace the pages of “Learn to Swim” as techniques and tips are shared for each age and stage. The book is available  at many stores including Barnes and Noble, Borders Book Store, Books a Million,, and In Books A Million you can locate “Learn to Swim” next to Dr. Benjamin Spock’s book “Baby and Child Care 8th Edition” and in Barnes and Noble next to Jenny McCarthy’s book “Belly Laughs”  .


Iowa Cedar Rapids, Washington High School. February 18, 2005.

Rob McKay was inducted into the Washington High School Athletic Hall of Fame for swimming 1968-1971, in his home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Rob joined the 2005 honoree class of former Washington athletes, hosted by  Denny Goettel. Among the inductees were former WMBA Utah Starrz basketball 3 point standout, Stacy Frese Huber and 1972 Olympic trial wrestling semi-finalist, Karl Waller. Also selected this year were swimmers John Kimber and 2 time Hawaiian Iron Man triathlon champion, Tony Deboom along with another triathlon phenom, his brother Tim (all three unable to attend this year, will be inducted in 2006). Two other Washington swim greats inducted were attorney Rich Mitvalsky and coach Jim Herman, both of Cedar Rapids.

Kyle Griffin senior swimmer escort, Rob, Lindy Krizan wife of Rob’s former coach Hal Krizan, Matt Burkhalter senior swimmer escort. Escorts are coached by Warrior coach Chris Cruise. (Not pictured Andrew Visser)

Former Washington swim greats, Robbie Cook, Kurt Moehlman, Rob, Nick Gearhart, Mike Stodala

1969 state champion team captains Nick Gearhart (left), Kurt Moehlman (right), at Milky Way masters swim practice at Washington High School. All three active swimmers today, now enjoying the invigorating health benefits of fitness swimming.

Brianne and Heather McKay enjoy home cooked Iowa food in the historic Amana Colonies. Also, the home town of  TV star Ashton Kutcher, who attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, until his family moved to Amana when he was 15.


Iowa History flashback : Two other graduates of Washington High School class of 1910 (the original school was downtown) were artists Marvin Cone and Grant Wood, painter of America’s most recognized and parodied painting, “American Gothic”. Washington High School will soon be connecting the tradition of the old and new schools with the addition of the Grant Wood-Marvin Cone Gallery. Grant was a business partner and life long friend of Cedar Rapids home builder Bruce McKay and his wife Ruth Chandler McKay (Rob’s grandparents). On family visits, as a young boy Rob’s father, John McKay, would often play in Grant’s studio/residence at 5 Turner Alley.  It was here that 5 year old John looked on in wonder, as the then unknown artist Grant Wood created “American Gothic”.


American Gothic 1930

Ruth Chandler McKay, John McKay, Grant Wood Cedar Rapids, Iowa circa 1936



Norway  Nordic Conference Babyswim

Rob McKay main speaker: Oslo, Norway, October 30 and 31, and November 1, 2004.

Nordic member countries include: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.

Click on link:   Norges Livredningsselskap, Babysvømmeutvalget


Is this Heaven, no it’s Flam


The road to Bergen, will the real mountain please stand up


International Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, Florida  May 8, 2004

Rob McKay of Boca Raton, Florida USA has been named the first recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman International Award.  McKay accepted the award at the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) annual awards ceremonies, hosted by Bob Duenkel, May 8, 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale.  The newly created award to the person is presented to that person who “best exemplifies the teaching philosophy of Virginia Hunt Newman” said Ed Newman, Virginia Newman’s son. (Ed is a former Academy Award nominee).

Virginia Hunt Newman, 84, considered the “mother of infant swimming” is a pioneering advocate of the gentle, positive approach to teaching babies to swim, author of the first book on infant swimming, “Teaching an Infant to Swim” she is honored into both the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the National Swim School Hall of Fame.


McKay commented that “Virginia Hunt Newman is a “shining light” for her work with very young children. Virginia’s love and respect for children, her support and consul to those seeking to teach babies to swim in a gentle manner has been constant inspiration to me.  I treasure her friendship, her insight, her ethics, her vision.”


The Newman Award will be Rob’s second award housed in the perpetual awards area of the ISHOF.  In 1999 Rob received the Paragon Award “for outstanding contribution to Aquatic Safety.


Sweden  Rob presented a workshop hosted by pediatrician and baby swim school owner, Dr. Ludmilla Rosengren, Uppsala, Sweden. August 16-17, 2003. Uppsala is a university town about 45 minutes north of Stockholm.

Workshop participants from Sweden


Biking is the transportation of choice in Uppsala, with literally hundreds of bikes parked in community areas.



World Wide Web  March 31, 2003

Dr. Don Ardell’s Wellness Report features the McKay’s. Dr. Ardell an author of numerous books, is one of the leading pioneers in the wellness movement, in addition to being a world champion masters triathlete.

Water Wellness for Aqua Babies — An Innovative Wellness Program
Click here: Water Wellness for Aqua Babies — An Innovative Wellness Program

or copy paste:


JAPAN  Frau magazine article March 2003

Frau magazine a popular Japanese woman’s magazine photographed Suzu Chiba as she observed the McKay’s gentle method of infant swimming or “baby diving” as they call it in Japan.


JAPAN Air date October 4, 2002

Nippon Television Network (NTV) Tokyo, has filmed segment on the McKay’s baby swimming philosophy/method for national broadcast throughout Japan, on a parenting special entitled “Charismatic Teachers”.  The TV special program focuses on child care/education around the world.

Japanese swimming sensation,  national record holder and Olympic team captain in Atlanta, Suzy Chiba appeared in the broadcast with Rob and Kathy McKay.


The previous NTV parenting special “Strolling the World” aired a 2-hour program in April, this year, covering child

development / education in Japan and in the world, introducing Kangaroo
care (a method of skin-to-skin contact to promote parent/infant bonding
especially for premature babies), baby signs (a communication method between
a baby and the parents, discovered by child development experts Dr. Linda
Acredolo & Dr. Susan Goodwyn.) and baby consulting ( had a guest speaker,
Ms. Tracy Hogg, the author of bestseller book “Secrets of the Baby
Whisperer”). This highly rated special had over 18 million viewers tuned in.


Boca Raton, Florida, USA 

Teacher Training

Small Group Workshop Schedule on going


MEXICO  September 14 to Monday 16, 2002

Selected as the speakers to represent the United States at the International Aquatic Conference in Acapulco, Mexico, Rob and Kathy McKay joined Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz.  September 2002.

III International Aquatic Congress.

Congress  held in one of  the most
beautiful / tourist places of Mexico: Acapulco,
Guerrero, at the Pierre Marques Hotel .

The McKays with Mexican interpreters Enrique and Abril and Mark Spitz


Mark Spitz and Rob McKay after hitting the Pacific surf in Acapulco.