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Daniel Zylberberg
words of acceptance of Newman Award May 7, 2010
ceremonies at the
International Swimming Hall of Fame Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA 

Let me tell you how much I am touched by the honor you do me today with this special award...

For two reasons: first, we have just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the charter on the International Rights of the Child (document), and second, it gives me the opportunity to evoke Virginia Hunt Newman's memory since she passed a few months ago.  We would not be where we are if it we not for her.

I met Virginia in 1993 at the World Aquatic Babies Congress held in Los Angeles.  I was stunned by the energy she exuded despite her small size.

Her generosity and her willingness to share her deep knowledge of young children with swimming, and her desire to bring together beyond the borders and cultures those sharing the same ideals.  As the place of water, place of childhood is universal - laughter and tera4rs, joys and sorrows, fears and daring speak the same way whatever the latitudes.

That conference and those that have followed organized around the aquatic practice of educating young children relative to the aquatic serve as a meeting point of educational, psychological, and sociological disciplines and have enriched us.

Aquatic education opens a space for reflection on the meaning we intend to give to the lives of children.  Curiosity is a virtue, wonder is a wisdom, initiative is a quality, the movement a joy and the foundation for knowledge.

So swimming, is not just moving on or in the water, it is going to meet others in order to recover a little of ourselves. 

Today it's a bit of Virginia's breath that drives our desire to continue her work and promote an education that respects the child and that from an early age.

Thank you for this award and thank you to Virginia's spirit for the way we have worked together and pursuing.

Finally, allow me to pay tribute to Jean Boteux (famous French swimmer honored at ISHOF this weekend) who died recently.

Again my thanks.