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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

This program is all about being comfortable in the water. Geared towards children from three months to three years, the lessons include fun games, songs and other water activities to help children enjoy their experiences in the water. Basic swimming skills such as kicks, arm movements, bubbles, bobs and floats are practiced to prepare children for preschool lessons.

Learn how to be safe in the water and develop body awareness and motor skills as they kick, float, glide and jump.

Core skills at a glance:

  • Bobbers: Skills include becoming familiar with the water, entering and exiting water assisted, putting face in the water, blowing bubbles, and assisted front and back floats.
  • Floaters: Skills include unassisted bobs, kicking with the face in the water, unassisted front and back floats, and assisted front glide.
  • Gliders: Skills include deep water awareness, assisted jumps into deep water, instruction to sitting dives, retrieving objects in chest deep water, and assisted deep water front and back floats
  • Divers: Skills include introduction to boating safety, jumping into deep water with a PFD, front and back floats in deep water unassisted and front and back glides.
  • Surfers: Skills include introduction to ice safety, sitting or kneeling dives in deep water, front swim for 15 metres, and front and back somersaults.
  • Dippers: Skills include standing dives, deep water bobs, surface support for 45 seconds, front and back swim for 25 metres, and introduction to front crawl.

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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