2011 ISHOF Service Award
Dr. Stathis Avramidis has been instrumental in organizing and preparing for the inaugural International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival (IAHS&FF), as Co-Chairman and member of the Organizing and Program Committee and editor of the proceedings. He has spent many hours reviewing and assigning abstracts for review by associates, designing the symposium website and answering communications.
He is honored for his outstanding contributions to the world of aquatics and the mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He promoted the work of ISHOF in Greek TV programs about ten times. He created a TV social message on drowning prevention that was approved by three Greek organizations and the Greek National Council for Radio and Television which will be aired on all the Greek TV programs. Stathis also helped with the organization and operation of several events that took place at ISHOF since 2001. He takes pride in competing on who is going to work more hours with ISHOF’s President/CEO, Bruce Wigo. Although he always loses in this competition, he manages to work daily between 12 to 16 hours.
38 years of age, Stathis, from Greece, has been involved in the aquatics since he was six years old. He has served and popularized aquatics and water safety nationally and internationally as athlete, safety professional, academic, author, researcher, and media professional.
He holds a Bachelor in Sport Science and Physical Education, graduating with the highest mark among 105 graduates, and a Diploma in Physical Education for persons with disabilities from Athens University. He also holds a Master in Sport and Exercise Science and a PhD in lifesaving and drowning from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Stathis has more than 150 certifications in aquatic safety, first aid, swimming and lifesaving as a tutor, instructor and professional from organizations in 13 countries.
Stathis works in the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in Leeds Metropolitan University and the National School of Public Health. He was recently appointed as the National Director of Sport Lifesaving from the Hellenic Federation of Underwater Activity and Sport Fishing. He conducts research and teaches various aspects of aquatic accident prevention and safety promotion. As a lifeguard and first-aider, he initiated over 80 rescues. As academic and teacher, he has taught about 9,000 people from 15 countries of all age groups, academic background and abilities/disabilities.
Stathis has a rich background as an athlete and author. He has placed five times in the top three rankings of the Pan-Hellenic Water Polo Championship and four times as a competitive life-saver or coach in lifesaving competitions in various countries. Possibly one of the world’s most prolific water safety authors, he has written 14 books and over 250 articles in peer reviewed journals and technical magazines, conference proceedings and book chapters. He has created two educational DVD’s on lifeguarding and recently directed the documentary film “Ode to (Lifesaving) Joy” that was endorsed by the Hellenic Red Cross and the three Greek organizations in which he works.
He is frequently asked to appear on TV programs to talk on water safety. For his contribution to the world of aquatics and water safety, he has been honored over 30 times from organizations in seven countries, including two Diploma Awards from the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth whose Patron is Queen Elizabeth and President Prince Michael of Kent.
In 2009, he became the first non-American and the youngest recipient of the Paragon Aquatic Safety Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.