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John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award

John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award

2008 Dr. Christine Stopka


When it comes to educating and preparing individuals to teach and work in the field of adapted

aquatics, Dr. Christine Stopka is the teacher of teachers. She is a passionate and productive professional who is a dedicated advocate for training, instruction and promoting grassroots efforts in the field. She is one of only 12 persons officially educating and training Adapted Aquatics Instructors in the United States and in over 20 years of teaching, she has developed programs that involve not only public schools, but local parks and recreation as well.


Dr. Stopka was trained as a Master Teacher of Adapted Aquatics through the American Association of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. She has taken and implemented the program to fit adapted aquatics programs at the University of Florida and for the past decade has been credentialing instructors and assistants in the field. She has worked hard to adapt, implement and evaluate lessons for children and teens with disabilities in order to give her instructor candidates a safe and effective “practicum” experience. She has touched thousands of lives through her work with undergraduate and graduate students who have taken her university classes and worked in her clinics.


For the past ten years, she has been the reviewer of the textbook Adapted Aquatics Programming and has written numerous journal articles to explain equipment modifications for children and teens with disabilities. She has contributed to the World Congress on Disability with numerous presentations to both professionals and parents. She speaks in a very articulate fashion and exhibits a positive energy and future vision for adapted aquatics.

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