Co-owner & Head Coach
Lizette is our infant- and toddler swimming specialist. She holds a degree in Human Movement Science (University of Pretoria) and was also a provincial athlete and -hockey player during her school- and university careers. She also completed three Comrades Marathons. She and Jean Fouace are the founder members of Amphibies Babies Africa™. Lizette also serves as project manager for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation (South Africa). She started as swimming coach in 1989 at Debbie Vorster Swim School in Brooklyn, Pretoria.
Lizette equipped herself further on the terrain of water safety courses for babies (6-24 months) through Les Bébés Amphibies (Switzerland) and also completed Swimming South Africa’s Learn-to-Swim training programmes. She obtained various other certificates in an effort to enhance her knowledge on the psychological- and physiological development of infants and toddlers. Lizette also served as Swimming South Africa’s Liaison Officer for Learn-to-Swim in Mpumalanga during her stay in Nelspruit. She opened her first swim school already in 1993 and sold it in 2006, before moving back to Pretoria where she served as the Head Coach at Ryk Neethling’s swim school (Swimming Stars) for three years from 2009. She opened Kiddies Aqua Swimming Academy in November 2011.
In 2014, Lizette and Jean Fouace (Les Bèbès Amphibies - Switzerland) started their own brand for the Self-Rescue Water Safety Programme for babies, namely Amphibies Babies Africa™. Lizette is also a member of the TUKS Swimming Coaches Team.
In 2015, she was invited by H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco and husband, H.S.H. Prince Albert II, to go and assist with the Self-Rescue Water Safety Programme for their baby twins (Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella) in Monaco. Since then she visited Monaco several times for other projects of the Princess’s foundation.
Lizette regularly attends international conferences and seminars. She even visited Gustavo Borges in Brazil and various universities in the USA to cross-pollinize some swimming knowledge, with them. Gustavo and his wife are the owners of several swim schools in Brazil (Academia e Escola de Nataçăo Gustavo Borges) and are both ex-Olympic medalists.
During December 2017, Lizette visited Josh Davis (ex-USA Olympic swimming captain and Olympic gold medalist) at Oklahoma Christian University to learn more from him on advance swimming and share her knowledge with him on infant-, toddler- and junior swimming. She paid similar visits to the head swimming coaches of Stony Brook University (New York) and Olivet Nazarene University (Chicago).
Lizette has spent more than 100 000x hours in the water (not on pool deck) teaching infants, toddlers and adults to swim. She has already taught more than 10 000x babies to float and 21 000x children to swim during her coaching career since 1989. She is South Africa’s top baby floating specialist with accolades from M-Net’s Carte Blanche, Kwêla, Supersport and SABC’s Pasella and Top Billing doing programmes on her and her unique self-rescue water safety methods for infants. Finesse Magazine also did a combined article on her and Princess Charlene in 2017. Lizette regularly does radio interviews and also expert talks at parents’ evenings and baby expos (Boobaloo and Mama Magic).
Both Lizette’s daughters, Mikal and Carmen, have regularly been taken up in South Africa’s junior and youth national swimming squads. They have already achieved provincial swimming colors from the age of seven years, winning medals on a regular basis at provincial- and national swimming competitions. Both of them were awarded student/athlete scholarships in the USA where they are currently swimming and studying at the St. Francis College (New York) and Oklahoma Christian University, respectively.
Lizette is leading her team of swimming coaches with excellence. She makes sure that they are all exceptionally well-trained and informed on all aspects of swimming. She presents refresher courses to ALL her staff every three months and creates and environment for continues improvement, participation and learning. Her patience, love and passion for children trickles down to all her coaches and staff members which allows an environment for relaxed and progressive learning. She is highly regarded amongst the swim coaching fraternity in South Africa and abroad and adds tremendous value to the sport of swimming, water safety and water awareness.
The Self-Rescue Water Safety Method that our head coach, Lizette Botha, is following is a combination of the Les Bébés Amphibies method and her own method developed since she started in 1989 as a baby floating instructor. Lizette was taught the method between 1989 and 1991 by Debbie Vorster of Debbie Vorster Swim School. Her knowledge was further enhanced by Frenchman Jean Fouace (Founder of Les Bébés Amphibies International– Switzerland).
Jean is reckoned the “Father of the Self-Rescue Water Safety Method for Babies” which he already started developing in 1967. His book was translated into Afrikaans by Debbie Vorster and served as a prescribed book for the University of Pretoria (Institute of Sports Research) during the early 1980’s when he established various license holders in SA.
Jean regularly visited Lizette during the past decade.
A strong bond was formed between them and together they founded Amphibies Babies Africa.
In very basic terms the method entails the teaching and stimulating of an infant to float independently on his/her back (fully clothed) for a certain period of time (15 minutes), giving such an infant a reasonable chance of survival when help is not immediately nearby or available. It is all about controlling their breathing for short periods of time when submerging in water.
The ability to float is a life skill that is entrenched in the infant’s development for life. They will never unlearn this skill and will always fall back onto this skill when needed in an emergency.
A Message from appreciative parents whose ex-self-rescue baby floating toddler saved herself from a drowning incident.
Jonelle Kruger completed our Self-Rescue Water Safety Program thirteen months ago and is already in our Learn-to-Swim Program for the past year.
Liewe Arrie en Lizette.
Vandag is ons so dankbaar dat Ons julle ken, en dat Ons kinders by julle waterveiligheid, dryf en swemlesse doen.
Ek was vandag besig in die huis. Jonelle loop heel ogg al met haar swembrilletjie op haar kop. Vir ñ oomblik het ek besef Sy is stil. My 1 ste gedagte was om by die swembad uit te kom. Daar gekom, het Ek besef Jonelle het in die swembad geval, Sy is in die middel van die swembad, Sy was heel kalm, my rustig geroep. St het perfek gedryf. Ek het besef Ek kan nie paniekerig raak toe Ek sien Hoe kalm Sy is nie. Ek het haar noodle vir haar gegooi, Sy het mooi omgedraai en self kant toe geswem!!
Ek dank God vandag vir gehoorsaamheid, dat my kinders by julle kon leer. Dat Jonelle rustig was en presies kon doen wat Sy by jou Lizette geleer het.
Dankie DANKIE DANKIE!!!
Johann en Michelle Kruger