Interview with Jackie Young of SWIMBABES™

Since it's summer, let's talk about swimming! Today, we feature Jackie Young, founder and director of SWIMBABES™, Oregon's first swimming school, originators of Swim Survival Safety™ lessons for infants, toddlers and preschoolers and home of the world's youngest swimteam.

The method of Swim Survival Safety™ originated with Jackie's aunt, Gay Lee, in the early 1940's in her school called GayLee's School of Swim. Jackie was mentored by her aunt to teach babies to swim. And as her aunt's health faltered, Jackie expanded the business and thus, SWIMBABES™ was formed.

In Swim Survival Safety™, babies, toddlers, and/or preschoolers are taught the life saving maneuver of rolling to their back and floating unassisted until help can arrive to them. This will be their automatic response if, by chance, they fall unexpectedly in to the water or suddenly have their heads under water. They are taught to float first to the count of 10 then they superfloat fully clothed  for a full 5 minutes!

So how does Swim Survival Safety™ differ from other Lessons? The main difference is that a child is taught how to solve real aquatic problems while traditional lessons deal with the comfort, breath holding and possibly motoring forward and some "u=turn" back to the wall.

Jackie has been teaching infant swimming for the past 47 years and is a second generation trainer in a family that has been committed to training Infant Swim Survival techniques for 70 years. She personally trained instructors for management positions and directed 5 centers for 7 years in Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.

In 1982, Jackie mentored her daughter, Kelley Robinson, now the Associate Director and Jackie’s business associate, in to teaching. Both of them run the SWIMBABES™ training center in cooperation up to this day.

As this article comes to a close, here are some words from Jackie herself: "The most important thing I have to share is that training little ones as soon as families can get in the pool in keeping little ones safe around the water as well as giving them skills is not only lifesaving but is a most rewarding and bonding time for families . We have passed our passion on to our instructors and our families and to see now a 4 th generation bringing their children for training is absolutely the highlight of my career! I am so thankful for all the amazing people and families who have trusted us with the jewels of their family ,their children!"

For more information about Jackie Young and SWIMBABES™, please visit their website at or email them at [email protected]


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