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Swimming Lessons

The Mission Parks, Recreation & Culture Department in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross offers a wide variety of learn to swim lessons for all ages and abilities. From Parent & Tot lessons to classes for adults and seniors, there is something for everyone. Gain confidence and learn to be active and safe in and around the water today with this progressive learn to swim program.

For the latest available times or to register on-line, see the link for each level below.

Red Cross Swim Preschool

This seven level program allows your child (4 months – 6 years) to enter levels based on their age and abilities. Each of the Red Cross Swim Preschool levels offers children a fun, safe and engaging environment to learn the basics of swimming and water safety.

Starfish & Duck

  • Requirements: 4 – 24 months of age or older, able to hold their head up, with parent participation
  • Overview: An introductory class for babies or toddlers and their parent or caregiver. To enter this level, babies must be able to hold their head up. The goal of this orientation to water class is to experience buoyancy, movement, entries, and songs and play in the water. For toddlers or older babies with a parent or caregiver. Toddlers build confidence while enjoying the water through games, songs and active water play.
  • Check for available times here.

Sea Turtle

  • Requirements: 24 to 36 months parented, little to no experience in the water
  • Overview:  This level develops skills in swimming, glides, and floating and builds awareness of deep water and safe entries. Swimmers will learn, through fun games and songs, how to combine skills, how to kick with a buoyant object and how to perform basic floats, glides and kicks.
  • Check for available times here.

Sea Otter

  • Requirements: 3 to 6 years  and can comfortably move and float with assistance, and put their face in the water.
  • Overview: A transitional level for the preschooler to the care of the instructor.  All skills are assisted by the instructor.  Using games and activities, swimmers learn to open their eyes under water, further develop basic floats and glides, and swim 1 metre.  They also learn age-appropriate water safety skills.  Swimmers are evaluated based on performance criteria and progress to Salamander once all criteria have been successfully completed.
  • Check for available times here.

Salamander

  • Requirements: 3 to 6 years, and can comfortably move and float with assistance, and put their face in the water.
  • Overview: Preschoolers actively learn new swimming skills including assisted floats and glides through games and songs. The fun includes learning to jump into chest deep water.
  • Check for available times here.

Sunfish

  • Requirements: 3 – 6 years, and can enter shallow water safely; float and glide on the front and back without assistance; move in a PFD, perform rhythmic breathing 3 times
  • Overview: Assisted by an Instructor, preschoolers work on stroke and skills progressions. Learning also focuses on good judgement in, on and around the water, and entries and floats in deep water.
  • Check for available times here.

Crocodile

  • Requirements: 3 – 6 years, can jump into chest deep water, do front and back floats and recover in deep water, do surface support for 5 seconds & front swim for 2 metres
  • Overview: Preschoolers start independent glides and kicking in deep water. Endurance is built through increasing distance for front and back swims. Swimmers learn about the dolphin kick and try synchro skills in the water.
  • Check for available times here.

Whale

  • Requirements: 3 – 6 years, and can float/move in deep water with assistance; breathe rhythmically 10 times; flutter kick while gliding on front, back and side; do surface support for 10 seconds & swim 5 metres continuously
  • Overview: In Whale, children will learn to swim independently and participate in team games. Preschoolers will increase their distance and improve skills in front and back swims. Swimmers also learn about throwing assists to help another person in the water.
  • Check for available times here.

Pre-school to School Age Conversion Chart

For those children who have participated in Red Cross Swim Preschool and turn 5 years of age.

If your child has taken the following
Red Cross Pre-school level:
and they Then enroll your child in the following level:
Starfish Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 1
Duck Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 1
Sea Turtle Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 1
Sea Otter (starting July 3, 2011) Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 1
Salamander Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 1
Sunfish Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 2
Crocodile Incompleted Swim Kids 2
Crocodile Completed Swim Kids 3
Whale Completed or Incompleted Swim Kids 3
Whale Completed (starting July 3, 2011) Swim Kids 4

Red Cross Swim Kids

This 10-level program for school aged children 5 years and up will help swimmers develop all six swimming strokes (front and back crawl, elementary back stroke, breast stroke, butterfly, sidestroke), actively learn how to be safe around the water, and increase their fitness and endurance through fun activities. Children will be challenged to achieve personal bests in distance and time, which will be a strong motivator through all 10 levels.

Swim 1

  • Requirements: Can jump into chest deep water, do front and back floats and recover in deep water, do surface support for 5 seconds & front swim for 2 metres
  • Overview: This is an entry level for children ready to move in shallow water. This level provides an orientation to the water and the pool area and introduces floats and glides with kicks. Children build their endurance by improving distance.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 2

  • Requirements: Can float/move in deep water with assistance; breathe rhythmically 10 times; flutter kick while gliding on front, back & side; surface support for 10 seconds & swim 5 metres continuously
  • Overview: This level helps the child build skills in front and back swims. Children are introduced to deep water activities and proper use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Endurance is built on flutter kicking with assisted glides.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 3

  • Requirements: Are comfortable in deep water; can breathe rhythmically 15 times; do front crawl at least 5 metres, arms recovering above water; & swim 15 metres
  • Overview: This level provides an introduction to front crawl as well the foundation for making wise choices on where and when to swim. Diving is introduced and children will work on floats and changing direction. Endurance is achieved by building strength in flutter kick and a 15-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 4

  • Requirements: Can swim front crawl at least 10 metres while comfortably breathing to the side and swim 25 metres continuously
  • Overview: The front crawl, back glide and shoulder roll for back crawl are further developed. Children work on kneeling dives, surface support and developing a greater sense of self-safety by understanding their own limits. Endurance is built through a 25-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 5

  • Requirements: Can tread water (1:00); swim front crawl at least 15 metres; swim back crawl at least 15 metres, arms recovering above the water; & continuous 50 metres
  • Overview: Back crawl is introduced, along with sculling skills and whip kick on the back. Children try stride dives receive an introduction to safe boating skills. Endurance is developed through dolphin kick and a 50-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 6

  • Requirements: Can swim efficient front and back crawl at least 25 metres; perform the whip kick on the front and back at least 10 metres; and continuous 75 metres
  • Overview: Front and back crawl continue to be refined as the elementary backstroke is newly introduced. Children are also introduced to safety on ice, elementary rescue of others with throwing assists, treading water and the front dive. Endurance is built through a 75-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 7

  • Requirements: Can swim front and back crawl at least 50 metres; swim coordinated elementary backstroke and breastroke at least 15 metres; continuous 150m
  • Overview: Level 7 continues to build skills and endurance for front crawl, back crawl and elementary back stroke and introduces whip kick on the front. Children learn about airway and breathing obstructions, and participate in timed treading water for increasing endurance. Endurance is built through timed treading water and a 150-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 8

  • Requirements: Can swim front and back crawl at least 50 metres; swim coordinated elementary backstroke and breastroke at least 15 metres; continuous 150m
  • Overview: Level 8 provides an introduction to the breaststroke, foot first surface dives, and rescue entries. Children learn about the dangers of open water, hypothermia, and the performance of rescue breathing on children and adults. Endurance is built on the dolphin kick and 300-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 9

  • Requirements: Can swim front & back crawl 100m; EB and breastroke 50m; continuous 300m
  • Overview: Front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke and breaststroke continue to be refined. In this level children are encouraged to try combining different strokes and kicks for fitness. They also work on head-first surface dives and standing dives and learn about wise choices, peer influences, and self-rescue from ice. Endurance is built through a 400-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Swim 10

  • Requirements: Can swim front & back crawl 100m; EB and breastroke 50m; continuous 300m
  • Overview: Further refinement of strokes, with an introduction to butterfly and scissor kick as a warm-up/cool down stroke for fitness. Children learn about sun safety, rescue of others from the ice, and head-first and feetfirst surface dives. Endurance is built using dolphin kick and butterfly drills and a 500-metre swim.
  • Check for available times here.

Stroke Development

  • Requirements: Minimum 6 years of age and able to swim 25 meters without stoping.
  • Overview: Designed to develop and improve advanced swimming strokes and skills. Stroke Improvement will help your lesson progress through fitness, endurance and leadership skills. Students may complete Red Cross Level Strokes within this course and obtain their badge if stroke correction is all they need to complete their level. Covers Swim Kids 6-10 level strokes.
  • Check for available times here.

Adult Lessons

Adult Swim

  • Requirements: Minimum 16 years of age.
  • Overview: Adult introduction to swimming. Swimmers will learn floats, recoveries & front crawl. Candidates to a needs assessment to outline their interests.
  • Check for available times here.

Private Lessons

Private swim lessons are available at a variety of different days and times throughout the week.  Please contact Joan McPherson with your questions or requests at 604-820-5363 or e-mail here.