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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Paragon Award Winners And Nominees



Courtesy of Paragon Awards, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Florida.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame is calling for nominations for the annual Paragon Awards.

The Paragon Awards are sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems and are presented for outstanding contributions to Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.

Nominees with information to support the nominations, must be submitted to Dr. Ivonne Schmid at the International Swimming Hall of Fame via email at ischmid@ishof.org by December 1st 2018.

Over the decades, several well-known luminaries in the open water swimming world have received a Paragon Award in various categories:

Dr. Jane Katz, 1999 Paragon Award for Recreational Swimming

Dr. Katz has spent her life participating in the aquatic sports and promoting for all aquatic sports, particularly the health aspects and benefits of swimming and water exercise. She has authored Swimming for Total Fitness (1981, currently in its 17th printing), The W.E.T. Workouts (1985), Fitness Works (1988) and Swim 30 Laps in 30 Days (1991) plus numerous articles and magazine write-ups.

She began as a 1957 U.S. team member to the International Maccabiah Games in Israel, winning the 100m butterfly, and continues today as a Master swimmer winning 14 age group World Masters Championships in all freestyle events. As a synchronized swimmer, she has won all three events at the National or World Masters competition and was a member of the 1964 Olympic Exhibition Team in Tokyo. She was the U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming National Solo Champion from 1974-1987. In 1992, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the U.S. Aquatic Fitness Association. Her current work in water exercise is geared to finding new applications of aquatics beyond the competitive arena. She lectures internationally on water exercise and serves as a clinician and consultant. Presently, she is a professor of Physical Education at the City University of New York where she has taught thousands of students about the benefits of water exercise.


Tom Griffiths, Ed.D., 2008 Paragon Award for Recreational Swimming

Dr. Griffiths is the Director of Aquatics Penn State University and is one of the most prolific aquatic safety authors in America. His major textbooks include, Sport Scuba Diving, in Depth, I & II, (Princeton Book Company 1983, 1990), The Complete Swimming Pool Reference, I & II (Sagamore Publishing, 1994, 2003), The Swimming Pool (Simon & Schuster, 1995), Better Beaches (NRPA 1999).

In addition to his books he has published more than 300 articles in a wide variety of publications including the New York Times.

During the mid-1990’s, he spent more than five years collecting data from more than 10,000 working lifeguards through his National Lifeguard survey. His findings led to the development of the Five Minute Scanning Strategy which has been adopted by thousands of lifeguards world-wide. Dr. Griffiths Scanning Strategy also led to the development of Griff’s Guard Stations which promote vigilance. He has received numerous awards for his efforts in aquatic safety including NRPA’s Distinguished Aquatic Professional, the European Lifeguard Academy’s Friend of the Academy, and Aquatics International’s Who’s Who in Aquatics.


Jim Wheeler, 2008 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

Wheeler is the Aquatics Director in the City of Oakland, California after served previously with six other cities and counties. His work in the aquatic safety field spans more than four decades. He has worked as a California state beach lifeguard, managed recreational aquatic programs for several municipalities, consulted on facility audits and advanced lifeguard training and contributed to aquatic research and lifeguard readiness. In 1998, he created and implemented a plan to operate a year round, full service program for the City of San Ramon becoming active with the National Recreation and Park Association's National Aquatic Branch. By 1991, he had become a speaker and chairperson at schools and conferences across the nation. Wheeler has been retained by more than 30 agencies and corporations across the country to train staff, inspect facilities and investigate accidents.

Since 1991, he has spoken at more than 100 local, state and national conferences.

Wheeler has been the driving force in developing the aquatics section of the California Park and Recreation Society. Nationally, he has served on the NRPA National Aquatic Council as a regional representative and President. He has also served on United States Masters Swimming's Safety Education, Marketing and Long Distance Swimming Committees, as well as chairing the Planning and Risk Management Committees. He developed an annual graduate school level scholarship for the California Foundation for Parks and Recreation in the name of Total Aquatic Management, his consulting firm.


Stathis Avramidis, Ph.D., 2009 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

Dr. Avramidis from Greece is a researcher and PT Lecturer in Aquatics at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. He has become one of the most dedicated water safety advocates in the world. He has served and popularized aquatics and water safety on a national and international scale as an athlete, safety professional, academic, author, researcher, media professional and top model. He placed nine times in the top three rankings of the Greek national championships as water polo player and lifeguard as well as serving as lifesaving coach in international competitions.

He holds a BSc in Sport Science & Physical Education graduating with the highest mark among 105 graduates, a Diploma on Physical Education of Disabled from Athens University, an MSc in Sport & Exercise and completed his Ph.D. on drowning at Leeds Metropolitan University. He holds 37 Senior Tutor certifications for qualifying trainers and over 100 certifications on water safety related subjects from organizations in 13 countries. Stathis works as a water safety primary school teacher, first-aider, lifeguard/head lifeguard in the Athens 2004 Olympics, water parks and Mediterranean, European and World aquatic sporting activities.

During his career he has performed over 80 rescues, and taught the concept of water safety to over 8,000 people of all age groups with various academic background and abilities/disabilities in 15 different countries. He has been a member of 13 international water safety organizations in seven countries. Dr. Stathis has authored 8 aquatic safety books and over 187 publications (chapters, DVD's, magazine articles, conference proceedings and research) as well as editing of the Handbook on Safety and Lifesaving in which he brought together 144 co-authors from 22 countries for contributing on their area of expertise about safety and lifesaving on land, in air and in water.

Dr. Stathis has promoted water safety in all types of media in Greece and abroad. He has worked as a journalist in 9 aquatic magazines and newspapers and as a radio broadcaster of the program Lifeguarding without a Teacher. He is a frequently invited conference or keynote speaker and has spoken over 542 times on 33 TV channels about water safety and lifeguarding. He has promoted aquatic safety through his career as a top international male model by speaking to the media when he was awarded the top model four times in national or world contests.

During his career, Stathis has received over 30 awards in 7 countries for his contributions to aquatic safety
.

B. Chris Brewster, 2010 Paragon Award for Water Safety

Brewster began his lifesaving career as a lifeguard on the beaches of San Diego, California in 1979 and has grown over the past thirty years to become one of the world's most influential promoters of beach and open water safety. His passion for lifesaving education has caused him to serve in leadership capacities on numerous lifesaving and water safety organizations including President of United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), Americas professional association of beach lifeguards charged with reducing the incidence of death and injury by drowning. Through Brewster's initiatives and planning, the Lifeguard Agency Certification Program, the Lifeguard Agency Response Team Program and the USLA National Lifeguard Championships were designed and implemented to help the professional lifeguard be more prepared and effective.

Brewster serves as Vice President of the International Lifesaving Federation, the world's international organization of lifesavers and as President of the Americas Region, where he oversees ILF activities throughout the western hemisphere including North, South, and Central America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. He is a retired lifeguard Chief of the San Diego Lifeguard Service and Harbor Master with an annual budget of $10 million with two hundred forty employees. He has authored, co-authored or edited over twenty one written articles, bills or papers; presented over twenty four lectures and presentations in seven countries; given 25 media appearances; and attended or presided over 130 meetings, seminars, and events around the world.

As author of the USLA Manuel of Open Water Lifesaving, he has initiated the U.S. National Certification Program for Beaches and served as Chair of the National Certification Committee. His website is www.lifesaver1.com
.

Ralph S. Goto, 2012 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

Since 1981, Goto has served as Administrator of the Ocean Safety & Lifeguard Services Division, Department of Emergency Services, Honolulu, Hawaii. He oversees a year-round staff of 155 full-time water safety officers and 90 part-time lifeguards on 19 of Oahu’s most popular and high-risk beaches and manages a $9 million operating budget. Goto and his professional, dedicated staff have provided life-saving rescues, first aid, and prevention education programs to millions of visitors and residents throughout his career.

A graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Goto serves as the primary ocean safety resource for legislative, community, and governmental matters in the State of Hawaii. He was Honolulu’s Manager of the Year and received the State of Hawaii Emergency Medical Services Dr. Livingston Wong Lifetime Achievement Award.

Goto serves on numerous boards, committees, and coalitions in Honolulu. He is advisor to the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association Board of Directors, President of the Pacific Islands Region of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), Chair of the USLA Sign Standards Committee, a Life Member of USLA and a past member of the Rescue Committee of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

He served as Program Coordinator and Safety Officer of Sea Trek Hawaii and lectures at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and Kapiolani Community College. He served as Physical Director at the YMCA of Honolulu and as Head Swim Coach at the Windward YMCA Aquatics Swim Team as well as coach of the Kailua High School Swim Team. He was the Field Representative for the State of Hawaii American Red Cross and Head of the Lifeguards at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

He has served as USLA Pacific Islands Region President, Certification Officer and Open Water Lifeguard Instructor Trainer. He is the American National Red Cross Water Safety Lifeguard Trainer and First Aid Instructor Trainer. He is the American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support Affiliate and the AHA CPR Instructor Trainer. He is the United States Department of Transportation Emergency Medical First Responder.

Internationally, he is involved with the YMCA’s programs of Scuba Diving and Surf Lifesaving serving as the Y’s the Aquatics Director. He is a National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Certified Scuba Diver, a Rescue Instructors Association Swiftwater Rescue Technician, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Test Technologist and Surf Lifesaving Association of New Zealand Rescue Boat Operator.

Goto has made numerous presentations some of which include: Ho Ike I Ke Kai ('to understand the sea'), studies on Marine Policy and Law, Water Safety, Liability and Insurance, and Rescue Techniques in High Surf. He has lectured at the International Aquatic Conference in Vancouver, and conferences in Japan and New Zealand. Goto is affiliated with several National and International aquatic organizations. He has made numerous water safety presentations in Hawaii and other states, as well as Canada, Japan and Australia.

Goto is a widely published author of articles and periodicals and has written on subjects from sharks, jellyfish and marine science to drowning, injury prevention, and lifeguarding effectiveness. He has written a handbook on Drowning: Prevention, Treatment and Rescue
.

Joost Bierens, M.D., Ph.D., 2013 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

Professor Joost Bierens of the Netherlands is a facilitator, researcher and author who has been involved in aquatic safety as a lifeguard, key member of major organizations, author, researcher, academic professor, congress chairman and international facilitator. His name is linked with some of the contemporary greatest achievements in the history of world lifesaving.

His first experience with water safety was working as a beach lifeguard during medical school vacations, from 1974 to 1980, when he became interested in drowning, other aquatic emergencies and water safety. It was during this time that he finished his first epidemiological study: “Drowning Along the Dutch Beaches”. He continued drowning related research while he was a resident in anaesthesiology from 1984 to 1989 in emergency medicine. In 1996, he completed his PhD thesis: Drowning in the Netherlands, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology and Clinical Studies. Inspired by the observation that very little had improved since his lifeguard period, he coordinated, on behalf of the Maatschappij tot Redding van Drenkelingen (Society to Rescue People from Drowning, established in 1767), the multi-disciplinary, international and interactive World Congress on Drowning from 1996 to 2002. 174 co-authors contributed to the first version of the “Handbook on Drowning”. He was the coordinating editor of the standard work on drowning, The Handbook on Drowning, Prevention, Rescue and Treatment (2006), in which he brought over 179 contributors from over 40 countries. This was the single, most important written initiative on this topic and is considered to be the “Bible” of water safety. In 2008, he contributed to the second most comprehensive book, the Handbook on Water Safety and Lifesaving, with 144 contributors from 22 countries. He has published over 130 scientific peer-reviewed articles and chapters on lifeguarding, drowning, hypothermia and water safety.

Dr. Joost is also a regular national and international keynote speaker and teacher on water safety related subjects, from a practical rescue level to the clinical intensive care level. Since the origin of the idea to obtain a global focus on the issue of drowning in 1996, he orchestrated, as Project Coordinator and Co-Chairman, the World Drowning Congress in 2002 - Amsterdam. This was the most comprehensive and organized initiative in the history of water safety which brought together over 450 experts from 40 countries. Unlike other initiatives up to that point, this Congress was open to everyone interested in sharing ideas and research without limiting its audience to specific membership. A few years later, at the World Water Safety Congress in Portugal- 2007 and the World Drowning Congress on Drowning Prevention in 2011 - Vietnam, Joost served in a more inspirational role and presented numerous water safety studies. Joost was again one of the key people in the World Water Safety Congress in 2007 - Portugal and in the World Congress on Drowning Prevention in 2011 - Vietnam, where he presented numerous water safety studies. Speaking fluent English, Dutch and Spanish, he has the talent to motivate and engage the interest of his audience, who almost hold their breath during his lectures, both because of his knowledge and because of his marvellous sense of humor.

Dr. Joost has been involved in professional involvement in emergency and disaster medicine. He was appointed First Professor in Emergency Medicine in the Netherlands at the Department of Anaesthesiology of the VU University Medical Center until his term ended in 2009. During this time, he published research articles and books on a variety of issues in the domains of emergency and disaster medicine
.

Sid Cassidy, 2014 Paragon Award for Competitive Swimming

Cassidy is the Aquatics Director and Head Coach, St. Andrews School, but more known worldwide as one of open water swimming’s most respected leaders. Perhaps his greatest contribution to open water swimming was his role in placing a 10 km swim permanently in the Olympic Games program. He is a member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Cassidy has served in nearly every role in the sport; a former professional marathon swimmer, a record breaking channel swimmer; a National Team Coach; USA Swimming and FINA Administrator; Olympic official, race announcer, race director, and strong advocate of the sport.

Cassidy’s dedication to the sport has been recognized by his peers as well as the international swimming community. He was awarded USA Swimming’s highest honor, the prestigious USA Swimming Award, which is given annually to the individual or organization with the most outstanding contributions to the sport of swimming. Cassidy was a technical expert for the USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force. His recommendations were ultimately accepted by the FINA Bureau as a concrete means to improve safety in its open water swimming competitions.

Cassidy has worked tirelessly on nearly every continent for over four decades as an athlete, coach, race director, promoter, administrator, referee, lecturer and FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Chairman. He has balanced a long-term vision with pragmatism in organizing and running the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim; the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup; and the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix during his role with FINA.

Cassidy’s early passion for open water swimming was developed under his coach and mentor, Bob Mattson, in the early 1970’s in Avondale, Pennsylvania. Cassidy was ranked as high as fourth in the world as a professional marathon swimmer in 1979 while he was lifeguarding at the time. He swam several 36 km Around the Island Swims in Atlantic City and has competed in professional marathon races in Chicago, Canada, England, France, and Egypt.

Cassidy has competed in the famous, La Tuque 24-hour swim, the Bay of Chaleurs, and the 27-mile Nile River Marathon Swim. He coached and swam on a record-setting, double crossing of the English Channel by the USA National Team in 1991, where he still remains one of the English Channel relay record holders. Cassidy was inducted as an Honor Administrator in to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.

Cassidy has had success in the pool too as both a swimmer and a coach. As a collegiate swimmer, he attended North Carolina State University and UCLA. He was a three-time Division 1 NCAA All American and was a gold medalist 11 times in 12 races at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships for North Carolina State University.

As a coach, Cassidy has consistently led teams and individuals to success at every level. He has coached on the collegiate level at the University of Tampa and Florida State University in an assistant coach role, and was named head coach at James Madison University and the University of Miami. He was Aquatics Director for Atlantic City, where he and ISHOF Gold Medallion winner, Mayor Jim Whelan began one of the first of its kind in the Northeast, Mannar minority swimming program. In 2005, he became the Aquatics Director and Head Coach at the Saint Andrews Prep School in Boca Raton. He has been named Florida High School Coach of the Year four times while at Saint Andrews: Boys in 2008, and Girls, 2009, 2012 and 2013.

Unselfish dedication, unflagging perseverance, creative vision, enthusiastic leadership, entertaining speaking style and a larger than life personality are all examples that best capture the essence and character of Sid Cassidy
.

Robert 'Bob' Burnside, 2014 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

Burnside is the Founding President of the United States Lifesaving Association and is perhaps the best known and most iconic lifeguard in the United States. His contributions to water safety are extraordinary. His love of aquatics was probably most influenced by his stepfather, 1920 Olympian and ISHOF Honoree, Stubby (Harold Herman) Krueger, and his mother, Jane Mackenzie, who was a Ziegfeld Follies dancer.

In his early years, Burnside was selected 22 times to the All American Swim Team, and three times to the All American Water Polo Team. In high school, he was the national record holder in the 100-yard backstroke and the 120-yard Individual Medley. He was the first high school swimmer in the U.S. to break the one-minute barrier in the 100-yard backstroke.

Burnside was hired as an ocean lifeguard by Los Angeles County in 1951. When a representative of Surf Lifesaving Australia met with Los Angeles County leaders, Burnside was appointed to become the president of what was to be called the Surf Life Saving Association of America, created solely to compete in an international lifesaving competition to be held in Australia during the year of the 1956 Olympics. He was a member of that team, which had never competed in an international lifesaving competition and placed third in the international belt race at Torquay Beach.

In 1963, Burnside invited lifeguards from various lifeguard agencies in Southern California to meet and discuss the concept of creating a true national association of professional ocean lifeguards. The various delegates agreed, and in 1964, the Surf Life Saving Association of America was formally created as a nonprofit organization of professional beach lifeguards. Bob was elected president and served in that capacity for four years. The organization changed its name twice, and it is known today as the United States Lifesaving Association.

In 1967, Burnside served as manager of a new competition team, which toured and competed in Australia and in New Zealand. The following year, 1968, he toured the East Coast of the US in an effort to promote membership and to broaden the interest in and to help move the organization toward a true national base. Bob designed and produced the revolutionary plastic Burnside Rescue Can (patrol can), which is now a standard for lifeguards worldwide, and an iconic symbol for beach lifeguards. It was the symbol for the TV Series Baywatch.

Professionally, in Los Angeles, Burnside was instrumental as a member of the affirmative action committee to mandate women’s rights to take the beach lifeguard test that led to the hiring of the first female ocean lifeguards by the department. He eventually rose to become the chief lifeguard of Los Angeles County. During his tenure, Los Angeles County created the first lifeguard paramedic program, a hyperbaric chamber, lifeguard certification program and pioneered the prevention first concept in lifeguarding. Previously the profession had focused primarily on “reaction” to people in distress, rather than preventing distress. Also, during his tenure, most of the municipal beach lifeguard agencies in Los Angeles County were merged into a single county agency, which continues to exist today.

Burnside is the founder of Club Tortuga, a USLA-approved Mexican water safety development project. As part of this operation, the first Spanish beach lifeguard training manual was developed, primarily as a translation of the USLA Training Manual. He also organized the development of a video depicting lifeguard issues throughout Mexico, and coordinated on site training and political support for Mexican lifeguards. Those efforts established Mexico’s first government beach lifeguard employees, now serving under the state fire division chief.

Burnside earned the Australian Bronze Medallion, the Canadian and Royal Lifesaving Instructors Certificate, the New Zealand Instructor Certification and the American Red Cross Instructor Certificate for first aid and water safety. He has been certified by the USCG as a rescue board operator and he was part of the first certified Los Angeles County Diving Scuba Instructors and a longtime member of the Department’s underwater rescue and recovery unit, which was the first such team in the West.

Burnside was a Grand champion in World Body Surfing in 1989, and for 13 consecutive years, the winner in his age division. He has been a masters division national champion 12 times at the USLA National Lifeguard Championships in the Iron Man, swim rescue board and rescue race events. He has been a national master’s division swim champion and a National Dorymen’s Association Champion, and winner of the Masters Inter-Mountain Downhill Ski Championship.


Peter G. Wernicki, M.D., 2015 Paragon Award for Aquatic Safety

For over 30 years, Peter G. Wernicki, M. D. has contributed his expertise to medical and non-medical aspects of lifeguarding and water safety around the world.

Dr. Wernicki currently serves as the Aquatics Chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, the Medical Committee Chair for the International Lifesaving Federation, and is the Medical Advisor of the United States Lifesaving Association.

Growing up on the New Jersey shore, Dr. Wernicki worked as a lifeguard for 12 summers. He held leadership positions within the guards, served as a water safety and lifeguard instructor, and both organized and competed in numerous ocean lifeguarding events.

Dr. Wernicki graduated from the University of Virginia and earned his medical degree from Rutgers Medical School. He went on to complete an orthopedic surgery residency in Baltimore at several institutions including the Johns Hopkins and Union Memorial Hospitals. He also completed fellowships in sports medicine and arthroscopy, and he currently specializes in sports medicine. He teaches Orthopedic Surgery at Florida State College of Medicine. For the past 11 years, Dr. Wernicki has been chosen by his peers as a top physician in Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Wernicki continues to contribute to global aquatic medicine and water safety through significant leadership efforts. He is an Executive Board member of the United States Lifesaving Association, a position he has held for the past 25 years. He has served as the US team physician and coach at numerous International Rescue Championships, he was co-chairman of the first ILS Medical Rescue Conference, held in 1997, and he was the keynote speaker at the 2011 World Conference on Drowning Prevention. He is also the ILS liaison to the World Anti-Doping Agency where he monitors athlete drug testing.

In 2006, the American Red Cross chose Dr. Wernicki to be a member of the organization’s National Scientific Advisory Council. The council is the scientific arm of the organization; it gathers, analyzes, and presents important evidence-based studies and data. The council’s authoritative statements guide all of the American Red Cross Health and Safety Programs. As a result, Dr. Wernicki was presented with the Chairman’s Award in 2012 for his exceptional contributions toward saving lives.

Between 2010 and 2012, Dr. Wernicki served as a Co-Chair of the US Lifeguard Standards Coalition. This was a groundbreaking joint effort among the American Red Cross, the YMCA, and the USLA. The large initiative was the first public safety effort to apply evidence-based science in the development of standards for open water and pool lifeguarding. Praised internationally, the published results are setting the standard for all future studies and improvements in global lifesaving.

Dr. Wernicki writes and publishes extensively on aquatics and water safety. He authored multiple chapters in the last two editions of the World Handbook on Drowning. A chapter in the Science of Beach Lifeguarding exhibits his insistence on rigorous evidence-based research. He has been published numerous times in the International Journal of Aquatics, the Physician and Sports Medicine, Anesthesiology, and many other scientific journals. In the lay press, Dr. Wernicki’s expertise is often quoted in publications such as Men’s Health, RedBook, New York Times, and the Washington Post.


Kate Rew, 2016 Paragon Award for Recreational Swimming [shown above]

Kate Rew grew up in Devon, England on her family’s dairy farm, but she developed her love of swimming the wild on the River Culm. She attended the University of Oxford, and although she did not swim, she stayed close to the water in rowing. She studied Philosophy, Psychology and Physiology. Early in Rew’s career, she worked as a freelance journalist, writing about health, fitness adventure and psychology for a number of various magazines.

In 2006, Kate Rew founded the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) to promote and encourage outdoor swimming. The OSS aims to represent the interests of all the different kinds of outdoor swimming by providing inspiration, connection, and a community. It provides information about places to go outdoor swimming, and about events. It also provides advice about swimming safely and other aspects and helps people to connect, and share projects, websites, advice, photos, videos, stories, experience and ideas.

The OSS manifesto believes swimming enlarges and celebrates the beauty of each day; they believe in sharing the joy and adventure of swimming; believe all have a right to swim under an open sky; believe in open access to lakes and rivers and in keeping lidos open; believe clean water in our lakes and rivers is a fundamental right; they embrace the delight of cold water and its rejuvenating effects and promise to strip and dip whenever they can.

OSS started off with 300 members, and now has 27,000 on its email list, over 20,000 on its Facebook group, gets up to 10,000 page views a day on its wild swim map, and a growing Instagram thread. In 2016, OSS celebrated its 10th anniversary. Rew is joined by four other directors to help run OSS.

In 2008, Rew released a book, Wild Swim, about the best places to swim outdoors, in river, lake, lido and sea, across Britain. The book became a bestseller.

Rew has been featured in several TV and radio documentaries, including an episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme Wilderness Journeys, The Diving Venus and three episodes of Coast on BBC TV. The news and lifestyle periodical Monocle magazine named her as one of its 20 “heroes who deserve a bigger stage worldwide.


For more information on other Paragon Award winners, visit here.

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