About Us

Oregon’s first swim school through three generations over 75 years!

Our History

The method of Swim Survival Safety™ originated with Gay Lee, in the early 1940’s. Gay Lee  was the aunt of Jackie Young: Founder and Director of SWIMBABES™.

Gay taught survival to infants through school age children from the early 40’s through the early 70’s in her school called Gay Lee’s School of Swim, Oregon’s First Swimming School.   Gay traveled the world and even appeared in the news reels in Europe with her famous swimming babies!

In 1969, Gay Lee, mentored Jackie to teach babies to swim. As Gay’s health failed, Jackie expanded the business and from there formed SWIMBABES™.   SWIMBABES™ was more than just a swimming school; Jackie formed the SWIMBABES™ team comprised of children ages 8m-3 years.  She put on over 30 aquatic shows in order to educate the public and medical community on the capabilities of young children in the water and to prevent a rising statistic in drownings in young children.  In 1982, Jackie mentored her daughter, Kelley Robinson, in to teaching.  Jackie and Kelley run the SWIMBABES™ training center in cooperation together to this day.

Our Philosophy

SWIMBABES™ has been blessed with a family business that has stood the test of time. We have been in business as a family swimming school teaching survival lessons to infants, toddlers and preschoolers for 75 years!  We love teaching and working with every student that enters our doors!

Our students start in a Beginning Course to get familiar with the water and gain some basic water understanding, balance and breath holding skills.  . Once they have finished a Beginning Course successfully, they may join our Ongoing weekly lesson program where we will teach your child life saving survival skills.

We Believe:

  1. In the 4 foundational Building blocks to Swim Survival Safety™:  
    Respect, Skill, Confidence, Fun.
  2. That the earlier you start a child, the easier it is to teach survival skills. But, children of all ages can learn this life saving method, and no child should be without life saving skills in the water.
  3. That respect for the water should be the first and foremost lesson a child should learn about water.
  4. In Positive reinforcement, loving words and smiles.
  5. That ALL children can learn to survive in the water.
  6. That the consistent reinforcement of our year-round lesson program builds success, confident and happy swimmers!
  7. That very young babies can be introduced to the water and begin learning important aquatic lessons about bouyancy and balance.
  8. That children do not always know what is best for them and need adults to guide them to safe practices around the water.
  9. That the back float is a lifesaving skill and should be reinforced at all lessons.

Our Awards

*Oregon’s first swimming school with over 75  years experience.
*First Charter Member of World Aquatic Babies Congress.
*Invited Guest/Speaker/Demonstrator: Nagoya, Japan.
*1st International/ SWIMBABES World’s Youngest Swim Team visits Nagoya, Japan, 2008.
*Education Award City of Nagoya , Nagoya Japan 2000
*World Aquatic Babies & Children (WABC) founders award 2007
*Presenter: Honolulu, HI 1997
*Host: SWIMBABES workshop for Instructors, Portland 2002
*Host: SWIMBABES presents Baby Swim 3 continents Workshop for Instructors
*Invited Guest and Presenter: Norwegian Life Saving AssociationClyde Drexler Endorses SWIMBABES
*Presenter: Helsinki, Finland
*Presenter: Guttenborg, Sweden
*United States Swimming School Association (formerly NSSA)
*Invited Guest and Demonstrator: San Mateo, Ca
*Invited Demonstrator: Palm Springs, Ca.
*Producer: 1st National Infant/Toddler Aquatic Show, 100 baby participants
*Recipient: 11 USSSA Teacher of the Year Awards
*Recipient: Most Outstanding Special Events Awards
*Host: USSSA (formerly NSSA)  Instructor Certification Workshops
*SWIMBABES productions: produced and directed 30 baby aquatic shows.
*Official Endorsement: Clyde Drexler of NBA 1992 Dream Team.

Special Training and Certification:

*USSSA (formerly NSSA)  Infant Swim Certification
*Red Cross WSI, First Aid and CPR
*Red Cross Adapted Aquatics
*Creator/Instructors: Infant Swim Survival Safety Course for Instructors
* SWIMBABES International Workshops

Non Profit Fund raising Efforts made for:

Non-profit fundraisers for children’s Health and Safety.

*Oregon SIDS project
*WHO organization
*Portland Dougy Center
*World Vision
*Infant Swim Health and Safety Research/Safer 3
*Blake’s Miracle

Special Appearances:

*KIRO TV-Seattle
*Rainbow Radio-Honolulu

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