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YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Advanced Aquatics Scholarship Program

Have you ever considered becoming a lifeguard? It’s the kind of job that offers:

  • A fun and active workday
  • More than minimum wage
  • Reasonable working hours
  • The opportunity to keep people safe and even save lives
  • Special certifications and transferrable skills

This could be you if you have basic skills and a dedication to learning! Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is able to offer Advanced Aquatics Scholarships to provide full funding to individuals, just like you, to complete certifications like Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard, and Swim Instructor.


  • Must have completed or be in the process of completing the prerequisites to your course. Click on the course name to view the prerequisites: Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard.
  • Must be willing to sign a photo release and provide a photo/statement upon completion of the program
  • Age restrictions may vary for different courses and in different communities. To confirm your eligibility, please contact


Do you know a strong swimmer looking to make a difference in their community? You can nominate them for the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Advanced Aquatics Scholarship Program!

The Importance of Aquatics Programs

At our YMCA, we see many young athletes begin their aquatics journey in our pools with programs such as Life Saving Sport, Synchronized Swimming, Water Polo, and more. Although these activities are a great way to keep active, they can be risky, especially for inexperienced swimmers. Swimming lessons are critical for all Canadians, but especially in communities like ours: rich with rivers, lakes, and backyard pools.

Prior to the pandemic, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka provided over 5,000 lifesaving swimming lessons each year. The mandated closures of our centres over the last two years have meant that we were unable to offer lessons for quite some time. This not only created a large backlog in lessons, it drastically exasperated a nationwide shortage of lifeguards.

The shortage of lifeguards impacts aquatics programming for all ages, for YMCA members, and for many other community groups. It is not just swimming lessons; recreational swims, athletic training, rehabilitative exercise, and aquafitness have all been impacted by the shortage.

The YMCA is committed to resolving this issue. We continue our commitment to financial assistance for people of all ages to access swimming lessons, and are working to reduce waitlists and increase the capacity of these programs by increasing the number of qualified lifeguards and instructors.

Thanks to our generous donors and sponsors, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has awarded dozens of Advanced Aquatics Scholarships over the past year. To learn more about how you can sponsor YMCA programs and events, contact To make a donation today, click here.



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