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Steffi Saul-Ketzler 

Baby Seals Swim Academy founder

NEW TIMES What prompted you to teach infants to swim?

SAUL-KETZLER Several years ago, when my first daughter was an infant, we had an incident in our neighborhood where a 3-year-old girl drowned. We knew the family, and it was very sad. I wanted to teach young kids to swim, but a lot of people were saying it wasn’t possible at a young age. I discovered Infant Aquatics, but I couldn’t find anyone teaching this program here. I ended up going to Boulder, Colo., to train with Judy Haumann, and bringing the program back to the West Coast.

 

NEW TIMES What did your training with Infant Aquatics involve?

SAUL-KETZLER It was a very intense training, I have to say! I spent six weeks out of state. I was in the water five to six days a week. Overall, it was 200 hours in the water. I worked with 20 to 30 kids per day.

 

NEW TIMES How many students do you work with nowadays?

SAUL-KETZLER On a day-to-day basis, I work with an average of 10 to 12 students a day.

 

NEW TIMES Are the courses more survival-based, or are they more about having fun in the water, or both?

SAUL-KETZLER The kids learn how to swim independently, but we do emphasize survival, like rolling on their backs to float. A 2-year-old is not able to do freestyle, but he can float and get from A to B. 

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