WABC President of WABC
Steve Graves has been helping to improve aquatic programs for babies and young children on local, national and international levels for many years.
Steve's leadership and promotion of Virginia Newman's non-traumatic style of teaching has been felt worldwide. In 1998, Virginia selected Steve to be President of her World Aquatic Babies Congress (WABC), the professional organization for swim teachers working with infants and toddlers, which Virginia named and founded in 1993. World conferences are held every two years on baby and children's learn to swim with representatives from more than 20 countries participating. He developed WABC's website using it to send electronic, around-the-world newsletters on the subject of infant-toddler aquatic instruction. Many instructional articles, and presentations are archived in several languages on the WABC website - WABCswim.com
In 1988, Steve founded the National Swim School Association (in the USA), a trade association for swim school owners in the United States. He served as the swim school's association President for the first five years, then as Executive Director through 2001. Steve grew the organization and established a variety of services to the membership including monthly newsletters, conferences, workshops, surveys, awards, teacher certification, publications, networking and dissemination of aquatic safety information. Conferences included presentations by the leading international authorities on designing aquatic programs for young children. After 2001 member leaders renamed the organization the United States Swimming School Association.
In 2000 Steve received the International Swimming Hall of Fame's Paragon Award for promoting Aquatic Safety by creating infant-toddler teacher certification and public awareness programs in drowning prevention for NSSA. These programs greatly benefited NSSA's 1500 member swim teachers and the 160,000 students taught each year. Also in 2000 Steve began as WABC's President taking on the administrative operations on a part-time basis.
Steve was involved from 1997 to 2006 Steve was the part-time Executive Director of the Florida West Coast Chapter affiliate of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (formerly NSPI).
He served as Executive Director of The Club Pool Association made up of owners of summer recreational family swim clubs in the United States. Annual educational conferences were held in Arizona, California and Florida, Tennessee from 1997 to 2001.
When it comes to teaching young children to swim, Steve like Virginia, feels that the gentle, positive approach is best.
A Normal, Illinois native and a former college All-American freestyle swimmer for Coach Archie Harris, at Illinois State University also in Normal, Steve was a swim coach, teacher and aquatic program director from 1969 to 1988 in Illinois, Arizona and Florida. Beyond his current association activities, Steve still finds time to teach swimming a few hours a week. Says his university swim coach Archie Harris, "Steve did it on just plain hard work. He is a go-getter."