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Health & Fitness Programs

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Swim Lessons at the YMCA

Knowing how to swim can save your life — or even someone else’s. Taught by certified YMCA instructors, our swimming lessons develop lifelong skills that promote safety in and around the water. The YMCA in Canada has taught thousands of children, youth & adults to swim through our nationally-accredited YMCA swim programs since we offered the very first YMCA swimming lesson over 100 years ago.

Taking swim lessons at the YMCA is more than just learning how to swim. Building confidence and lifelong skills based on individual abilities, ensures the pace of progression is that of your child and ensures they thrive.

Swimming lessons are included in your membership. From beginner to advanced classes, gain confidence in the water in a fun and engaging environment. Lessons are available for all levels of ability and age groups.

Infant & Preschool Swim Lessons

Getting time to work out with your little one can be a challenge. YMCA Parent and Tot sessions’ give you time to play, move, and splash in the pool with your infant, toddler, or preschooler. A YMCA Swim Instructor will lead these sessions to ensure you and your child get the most from your time together. 

Prerequisite(s):  There are no prerequisites for this program. 

Cost: Swim Lessons are included in YMCA Classic and Premium memberships. Community members can access Swim Lessons through the purchase of a YMCA day pass.

You’re never too young to enjoy the water! The YMCA L’il Dippers program will introduce your toddler or preschooler to the basics of swimming. Each level in the L’il Dippers program has been designed with your child’s natural growth and development in mind. There are eight levels in the YMCA L’il Dipper program: Splashers, Bubblers, Bobbers, Floaters, Gliders, Divers, Surfers, and Dippers. YMCA Swim Instructors will ensure that we find the right level for your child.  

Prerequisite(s):  Available to children between 3 and 5 years old. 

Cost: Swim Lessons are included in YMCA Classic and Premium memberships.

Children & Youth Swim Lessons

Learn foundational swimming skills that will be applied through future activities in and around the water. Improve body awareness and motor skills as they submerge, kick and jump in the water.

Core Skills include:

  • Otter: Introduction to pool safety, submersion and glides.
  • Seal: Focus on kicking and rolling.
  • Dolphin: Participants learn and focus on coordination for front and back crawl.
  • Swimmer: Skills include a focus on front and back crawl.

Continuing swimmers will learn elementary backstroke, breaststroke, and side stroke while increasing their swimming distance to 350 metres. Swimmers will also have opportunities to explore competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo and AquaFit.

Core Skills include:

  • Star 1: Skills include a focus on back glide with whip kick.
  • Star 2: Skills include a focus on front glide and whip kick.
  • Star 3: Skills include focus on elementary backstroke.
  • Star 4: Participants learn and focus on breaststroke and sidestroke.
  • Star 5: Skills include boating safety and self-rescue, introduction to butterfly, and a 500 metre continuous swim.
  • Star 6: Focuses on first aid and victim rescue skills, 600 metre continuous swim, introduction to waltz crawl, inverted breaststroke and double-over-arm breaststroke.
  • Star 7: It is the intent of YMCA Star 7 Swimmer instruction to complete the Star Patrol Award, review and improve stroke techniques, improve endurance to 700 metres, and prepare the swimmer for leadership for lifeguard role.
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