Swimming is a fun team sport and a great way for kids and teens to stay healthy while making lifelong friends. There are so many benefits to being on a swim team.

  1. Just about anyone can do it-All they need is a desire to work hard and learn. An added bonus is swimming can be a lifelong and useful life skill
  2. Affordable-For the skills they learn and the practice time they get in the pool on a weekly basis the fees are inexpensive for the return of benefits.
  3. Social- Swim teams are a great and easy way to make friends with kids that train with you every day. These are long term lasting friendships that share a common goal and likeness.
  4. Fitness-Swimming improves overall fitness. It is much easier on the child’s joints than higher impact sports. Swimming also builds muscle and endurance to prevent childhood obesity.
  5. Self Esteem- On our teams everyone’s a winner at different levels with ribbons, and awards of some sort at the end of the season. The feeling of accomplishment to get to the other side of the pool while people are cheering for you is an amazing feeling to a child who is working so hard to compete. They reach levels of unbelievable proportion and leave with such a sense of accomplishment.

At Baby Otter Swim School in Plantation Florida our teams offer not only physical benefits but emotional and psychological. We have found in our over 50 years in aquatics that sports like “swimming” teach children about setting benchmarks, about seeking improvement and striving for a level of perfection every time they get into the water, no matter how they get across that pool. Our experience has shown us that swimming increases levels of self esteem increasing confidence and lowering stress levels.

In addition to our swim teams starting as young as 4 years old we would like to announce the launch of our new Special Needs swim team. These amazing loving children will experience the benefits of a swim team combined with our professional instruction coaching and most important our love of them and the sport of swimming. The Special Needs swim team is just one of many swimming programs for youth offered at Baby Otter Swim School.

For more information on our swim teams please contact Baby Otter Swim School at 954-704-0080 and visit our website at and our most comprehensive up to date blog at



Here are some photos scanned from the hard copy edition of the Miami Herald’s article which covered our drowning prevention & swim safety¬† event, in Plantation,Florida. Chicago Cubs’ legend and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Andre Dawson , interacted with all the young swimmers at the event. Dawson is the national spokesperson for Baby Otter Swim School in Plantation,Fl. Click Here to read the Miami Herald story on our blog.



*All content below is from the Miami Herald article: Hall of Famer helps push water safety (See official article at:(



Hall of Famer helps push water safety

Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson makes his pitch for promoting water safety and teaching people of all ages to swim.


Andre Dawson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, but the Miami-born legend can also boast about another milestone in his life: learning to swim at age 50.

Six years ago, a friend of Baby Otter Swim School founders Marlene Bloom and Mindy York approached Dawson at a Make-A-Wish Foundation banquet about becoming a spokesman for the school.

“There was one stipulation,” Dawson said, “that I learn how to swim first.”

Wearing a Baby Otter Swim School T-shirt, “The Hawk,” now 56, talked about learning to swim as an adult while attending the end-of-summer splash party and water-safety awareness program Aug. 1 at the swim school at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, where he also signed autographs and took pictures with fans.

“The toughest part was seeing the kids learn how to swim,” said Dawson, recalling his swimming lessons six years ago. “I’m like, oh my God, these kids do not fear the water. But as an adult, you fear the water, you know what the potential could be. But it’s not difficult if you stick with it and you go through that week of training and get the basics.”

The state faces a dire situation when it comes to drownings, safety experts said.

In Florida, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under 5 years old and it only takes three seconds for a child to drown, according to the Plantation Fire Department.

Staci York, daughter of Baby Otter Swim School co-founder Mindy York, almost drowned when she was 17 months old.

“I won’t let that happen to my son,” said Staci York, 26. Her 23-month-old son, Jayden Cadet, knows how to swim.

“It is important at any age,” she said. “You can fall into any body of water. You need to learn to get yourself out of that situation.”

Shirley Harold of Lauderhill said that in 2008 her 2-year-old great-grandson J’Mari Johnson was found “floating at the top of the pool.”

She has been on a “quest” since her great-grandson’s death and wants people to understand the dangers of leaving a child unsupervised, even for a second.

Harold, a volunteer for the Baby Otter Swim School, said, “It’s not just 2-year-olds [who are drowning]. It’s also African Americans, 15- and 18-year-olds who drown.”

She stressed the importance of teaching people of all ages to swim.

So does the Plantation Fire Department, which presented safety demonstrations at the event.

“We got together with Plantation General with a program that was simple,” said Joel Gordon, battalion chief of the Plantation Fire Department. “We focus on the message, watch the water, watch the kids.”

The Plantation Fire Department presented a CPR demonstration with help from 3-year-old volunteer Jordana Grossman of Sunrise.

She pretended to call 911 and answer a few questions from the operator. There was a dummy in the water and as soon as Jordana got off the phone, firetruck sirens rang out and firemen went through the procedure of rescuing a child.

After the demonstration, the kids and the parents went straight into the pool to cool off and have a good time. On the hot and sticky afternoon, everyone who brought a bathing suit went into the water for a free swim.

“We are one of the few schools that have swimming as part of the P.E. curriculum,” said Saul Kravec, president of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El.

Dawson, special assistant to Florida Marlins president David Samson, said he “gravitated” to the idea of promoting water safety because “of the importance of it.”

The Baby Otter Swim School teaches anyone from 8 months to senior citizens.

“I taught Andre how to swim,” Bloom said. “We are very good with adults.”

Dawson said for adults learning to swim, “I think the older we get, our fears start to intensify, but once you get the basics down and get over the fear, you enjoy it.”

For more information on the Baby Otter Swim School, call 954-704-0080 or visit

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