resource center

Step Into Swim Podcast

Step Into Swim

This podcast is for anyone who has ever been inspired by a swimmer. It’s for people who are passionate about swimming (swimming enthusiasts) and all the benefits that come from time spent in the water. We share stories about how swimming has saved, shaped, and changed lives and why drowning prevention is so important.

Join the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance CEO and President Sabeena Hickman and VP of Partnerships & Development and Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines as they explore the importance of swimming and creating 1 million more swimmers through the Step Into Swim initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance.

In each episode, we chat with athletes and experts to uncover the connection between water and human, and why we all deserve to experience it.

Step Into Swim

Google Podcast

Apple Podcast

Episode 21: Surrounded by Water with Stephen Robbins

April 12, 2022
Rowdy sits down with Stephen Robbins, President of Bluewater Pool Pros, to discuss how water and swimming have shaped his life, both on the business side and within his family – as his son is a competitive swimmer. He discusses how they overcame difficulties during the pandemic, and how they used their home pool to serve the neighborhood. 


Episode 20: DEI Importance in Competitive Swimming

March 15, 2022
Maritza McClendon, an Olympic medalist and swim champion, sits down with Rowdy and Sabeena and discusses her personal and professional achievements, as well as her efforts in the DEI sphere, and how she's working to enhance drowning prevention.


Episode 19: Getting Passionate About Swimming with Jennifer LaMont

February 15, 2022
Rowdy and Sabeena welcome Jennifer LaMont, the CEO of the American Swimming Coaches Association. They discuss how to get more people in the water, while also keeping them safe.


Episode 18: Getting in the Lake with Lucky Meisenheimer

January 25, 2022
Rowdy Gaines and Lucky Meisenheimer discuss Lucky's Lake Swim, the history of the Golden Mile charitable event, Lucky's connection to the Special Olympics, and how to continue making open water swimming safer for all swimmers.


Episode 17: Water Safety Can Start in Schools

January 11, 2022
Rowdy welcomes Melissa Mishoe to this episode of Step Into Swim, during which she recounts when she was able to save a friend from drowning. This event affected her throughout her life and, as a member of the Champions Board, Melissa inspires and advocates for drowning prevention across the country.


Episode 16: The Changing Face of Water Safety

December 28, 2021
Rowdy and Sabeena speak with Jillian Wilkins about the increased access people have to water and the importance of knowing how to be water safe – and it's not just by learning to swim.


Episode 15: From Printing to Pool Building

December 14, 2021
Rowdy and Sabeena talk to Maurice Bushroe, president of the Florida Swimming Pool Association and president of Blue Ribbon Pools, about his journey from owning a printing company with 500 employees to starting over by buying a pool company and being an employee of one.


Episode 14: In the Blink of an Eye

November 30, 2021
Olympian Cullen Jones shares a story with hosts Rowdy Gaines and Sabeena Hickman about his near-drowning experience when he was five years old and why it is so important to teach children to swim.


Episode 13: A Conversation with Lisa Zarda, USSSA Executive Director

November 16, 2021
Lisa Zarda, the executive director of the United States Swim School Association, shares her insights regarding the state of the swim school industry post-COVID.


Episode 12: Getting Back in the Water

October 26, 2021
Fluidra's President of North America Troy Franzen spoke to Step Into Swim about his engagement with the Champions Board and the importance of promoting swimming and safety.


Episode 11: Dolphin of the Desert

October 12, 2021
Masters swimmer Jeff Commings shares with Rowdy and Sabeena how his love of swimming led to the creation of a swim school – with the goal to inspire swimmers to be better… but it’s his students who have inspired him.


Episode 10: Bringing Home the Gold

September 28, 2021
In this episode, U.S. Olympics Swimming Coach and International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee David Marsh speaks to Rowdy and Sabeena about his exceptional career in which he guided the 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic Team to 16 medals and the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team to 30 medals.


Episode 9: Drowning IS Preventable

September 14, 2021
In this episode, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Executive Director Adam Katchmarchi speaks to us about their efforts to reduce the incidences of drowning and aquatic injuries in the U.S. and abroad.


Episode 8: Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion

August 24, 2021
In this episode of the Step Into Swim podcast, our host Rowdy Gaines sits down with 5-time Paralympian Jessica Long to discuss the impact she's had on the world as the face of Paralympic swimming. The two discuss her countless successes while also delving into the struggles she experienced on her way to the top.


Episode 7: Moving the Ball Forward

August 10, 2021
In this episode, our host Rowdy Gaines sits down and talks with Bill Kent, board chairman of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and CEO and board chairman of Team Horner. The two discuss Kent's journey to the top of the swimming pool industry and the monumental ideas that helped propel the industry forward.


Episode 6: Making History: A Conversation with Lia Neal

July 19, 2021
Rowdy Gaines sits down and talks with 2-time Olympian and Olympic medalist Lia Neal. The two discuss Lia's history in the sport as well as all the ups and downs of her journey to Olympic medals and an NCAA championship. They also discuss diversity in the sport and Lia's perspective on being the first African-American woman to win an Olympic swimming medal.


Episode 5: Pooled Together: The Role of Community in the Aquatic Industry

July 5, 2021
In this episode of the Step Into Swim podcast, Sabeena Hickman and Rowdy Gaines sit down with Rob Butcher, CEO of Swim Across America Foundation, to discuss the sentimental aspects of pools and the sport of swimming. The three also delve into the importance of diversity in the industry and much more!


Episode 4: The Bigger Picture: Diving into the Pool Building Industry ft. Charlie Claffey

June 21, 2021
The PHTA's very own Sabeena Hickman and Rowdy Gaines sit down with Charlie Claffey of Claffey Pools to discuss the impact his business has on the pool building industry. Claffey Pools is a family-owned and -operated business that values the well-being of its consumers and members of the industry over anything else. The three discuss the state of the industry and how they can make the biggest positive impact moving forward.


Episode 3: The First Family of Swimming: Michael and Katie Ledecky

June 7, 2021
In this episode of Step Into Swim podcast, hosts Rowdy and Sabeena introduce brother and sister act, Michael and Katie Ledecky. Sibling swimmers since childhood, Michael and Katie walk down memory lane to discuss how they fell into swimming, and how the sport has shaped and changed their lives. Katie followed Michael into the pool as a young girl at the age of six years old, and went on to win five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. She is the world record holder in the women's 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle. She holds the fastest-ever times in the women's 500-, 1000-, and 1650-yard freestyle events.


Episode 2: Meet Franceen Gonzales, PHTA Chairman and Chief Experience Officer at WhiteWater West Industries

May 24, 2021
Franceen Gonzales is the Chief Experience Officer at Whitewater West Industries, as well as the Board Chair for the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. With over 30 years in amusement park, water park, hotel and family entertainment management. She's held positions on the board of directors for various groups, including IAAPA - International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, WWA - World Waterpark Association, and ASTM International to name a few. Franceen joins Step into Swim to chat about how she became immersed in the aquatic life at an early age, but it wasn't the original plan.


Episode 1: Rowdy Talks Fame at an Early Age with Olympian Cammile Adams

May 10, 2021
Cammile Adams is an American competition swimmer who specializes in butterfly events. She represented the United States in the 200-meter butterfly event at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Cammile joins Step into Swim to discuss how her fame at an early age shaped her life today as the owner of SafeSplash Swim Schools in the Houston area, where she continues to focus on creating safe, happy, and confident lifelong swimmers.


Trailer: Step Into Swim Podcast

April 26, 2021
Learn more about our Step Into Swim Podcast, hosted by Rowdy Gaines.


Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Strategic Partners:

  • Biolab
  • Fluidra
  • Hayward
  • Heritage Pool Supply Group
  • Lou
  • Lyon Financial
  • Pentair
  • WatkinsWellness
This website uses cookies, including from third parties, to improve your user experience and for website analysis and statistics. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.