About SAI
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About SAI

By founders Jill and Robbin White


In the late 1990s, we operated several aquatic facilities around the country, and at the same time developed training systems for our management services firm. Through these experiences we realized we had created a new and effective way to reduce drowning and save lives by integrating experiential learning theory with aquatics. Our goal then became to develop a risk management system and competency-based training program complemented by exemplary service and cost-effective support. In 1999 we came across The Starfish Story that inspired our name, and founded the Starfish Aquatics Institute.


We exist to help aquatic facilities save lives.  Since our founding we have served clients around the world representing thousands of aquatic facilities which have trained thousands of lifeguards and taught hundreds of thousands of people to swim. Many of our clients have been with us since the beginning – those who were looking for a better way and who continue to excel today. Some have just joined our family and are on their way to maximizing their potential.


A network of authorized providers who agree to high standards of training excellence deliver SAI programs. Training providers are a diverse group—from independent instructors and educational institutions that deliver community based courses, to large waterparks which conduct in-house training for their employees. This is a sample of the types of aquatic facilities or groups we serve:

  • Waterparks
  • YMCAs
  • Parks & Recreation agencies
  • Indoor waterpark resorts
  • Military MWR
  • Private swim, health and fitness clubs
  • USA Swimming  teams
  • Swim schools
  • Architectural and engineering firms
  • Insurance and risk management groups
  • High schools, colleges and universities
  • Public safety first responders (fire, police, EMS)

We partner with quality leaders in aquatics – including individuals who want to become instructors, aquatic facility managers looking for the best for their facility, and organizations that wish to partner to create change. SAI has no agenda or purpose other than the success and optimal effectiveness of this group of largely independent, dedicated aquatic professionals.


The primary difference between SAI and other nationally and internationally recognized training and certification agencies is the wider breadth of content and higher level of service. We are well-positioned for the future and experiencing significant growth each year.


We continue to explore new ways to deliver training, services and products. Even though we have grown and adapted, we still have only one service—aquatics—and only one mission—reducing drowning and saving lives.




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Starfish Aquatics offers Starguard Lifeguard Certification program to provide training to lifeguards in any kind of pool or waterpark.

Starfish Swimming is a comprehensive swimming instruction and water safety curriculum for all ages and ability levels.

AquaTech Pool Operator Certification program offers training and certification for anyone responsible for the water quality and maintenance of a pool or aquatic facility.

Starfish Aquatics Institute • Founded by Jill White and Robbin White