Wednesday, December 1, 2021

New YMCA Aquatics Director Excited to Teach Swim Skills

Photos by Quentin Roux
| Kathryn Stephenson works with young Isabella Lisi in the Y pool.


Watching swim teacher Kathryn Stephenson working in the pool with young Isabella Lisa, you might be forgiven for thinking they’re mother and daughter. Kathryn is all encouragement as Isabella tries a new swim technique, and the young girl is clearly excited about mastering it.

“Watch,” she keeps telling Kathryn, who is the new YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y) Aquatics and Wellness Director.

Kathryn brings many years’ experience to the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y).

She brings with her two decades of exactly the same experience at an Atlantic Coast Athletic Club in Virginia.

“I gave swim lessons, coached, did lifeguard and CPR training,” says Kathryn, who was naturally a water baby herself as a young child.

“We lived in Connecticut at the time (off Long Island Sound), and at 18 months my mother couldn’t keep me out of the water,” Kathryn says. “Later, I went one summer from basically a non-swimmer to a proficient swimmer, joining the swim team from seven through 18.”

The natural progression was eventually to train and coach others.

“I wanted to share the love of swimming. My favorite thing is when a child or an adult masters a new skill. It puts a smile on my face.”

Teaching an adult to swim for the first time is especially rewarding for Kathryn.

“It’s a life-changing skill for them,” she says.

Kathryn linked with the Y earlier this year after moving south with her husband Lynn. He is a vocational rehab tech with the State. She initially responded to the “wellness” position but learned about the aquatics possibility after talking with CEO Cindy Love-Abounader. End result: she assumed both positions.

“They’re a great group of people,” she says. “At the Y, there’s something for every single person. And the members love what’s happening, so how can you not be happy.”

People interested in all types of lessons on offer should connect with Kathryn at for more information.

And, for more on the Y’s wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco; on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.



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