Since 1931, the YMCA has been a leader in aquatics inCanada. That year the YMCA developed the first nationally recognized aquatics program and has continued to train aquatic leaders ever since.
• Comfort in the water opens doors to a wide range of skills,opportunities and activities such as canoeing in Canada’s beautiful lakes, water slides with friends, snorkeling on a tropical reef, fishing on a sunny afternoon, or becoming a lifeguard to teach others.
• Swimming is an essential safety skill. Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age.
• Participating in swimming lessons gives children and adults the opportunity to accomplish new skills and build self confidence.
• At the YMCA we focus on helping people develop. Each swimmer is challenged to grow and improve while the levels are a tool to help parents understand progress on different items. Children will be continually challenged and not limited to completing a level before being introduced to new skills.
• YMCA staff are trained beyond aquatics on topics such as Healthy Child Development. They not only teach swim skills but also help children understand and live the YMCA Core Values - Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.
“Rolling Registration” is the name for the YMCA format of offering lessons throughout the year without participants needing to re-register and in which people may register at any time. Participants progress at their own rate within a group.
• Convenience of a consistent swim time throughout the year.
• You may choose to change the day or time of your swim lesson at any time.
• Continuous feedback with the emphasis on participation.
• When a level is completed the next level is started immediately without re-registration.
• The YMCA Swim Instructor plans to meet the needs of each participant.
YMCA instructional swim lessons introduce and teach children a variety of skills in a values based environment. Children are encouraged to experience the qualities of water, learn safety, movement skills, and build confidence.
Based on child development principles, the YMCA recognizes that children learn by experimenting, exploring, imitating, playing and having fun. Our qualified instructors practice changing activities throughout the lesson to assist with keeping children’s attention. A 30 minute weekly lesson promotes and supports this learning principle, and the YMCA’s continuous registration leads to regular participation and learning through progression. Report Cards are available online four times per year.
Children who want the option of additional swim time to practice skills and/or build endurance have the option of participating in open/family swim times.
Has your child been previously enrolled in Lifesaving Society or Red Cross Lessons? CLICK HERE for a YMCA Swimming Lesson Conversion Chart.
YMCA Lil' Dippers For infants to 5 years of age
L'il Dippers 1: Splashers and Bubblers with parent participation
Purpose: To build values and introduce a wide range of water activities in a fun, safe atmosphere
Splashers - Comfort in the water, splashes with arms and legs, pool area orientation
Bubblers - hold wall and kick feet, front/back float assisted, safe swimming
L'il Dippers 2 Ages 3 - 5 years without parents
Bobbers - hold wall kick and blow bubbles, front and back glide assisted, water hazards
Floaters - bobs unassisted, front and back glide with kick 3m, how and when to wear a personal flotation device
Gliders - deep water skills, front and back swim 5m, accessing ems
Divers - surface support 10 sec, front and back swim 10m, boating safety
Surfers - kneeling dive, front and back swim 15m, ice safety
Dippers - surface support 45 sec, front and back swim 25m, introduction to throwing assists
YMCA Learn To Swim For children 6 years +
Purpose: To build values and orient children 6+ to fundamental swim skills
Otter - rhythmic breathing, front and back swim 5m, know when to call for help
Seal - deep water skills, front and back swim 10m, buoyant objects
Dolphin - tread water 30 sec, front and back swim 25m, recognize someone in trouble
Swimmer - tread water 60 sec, front crawl 25m, introduction to resuscitation
YMCA Star Program
Purpose: To develop individuals through improving swimming ability, further water sports and safety skills, develop endurance and new strokes, as well as explore leadership skills
Star 1 - tread water 90 sec, back crawl 25m, rookie first aid
Star 2 - front and back crawl start, elementary backstroke 25m, rookie H2O proficiency
Star 3 - introduction to eggbeater, breast stroke 25m, rookie recognition and rescue
Star 4 - front crawl turn, endurance swim 400m, ranger first aid
Star 5 - eggbeater 2 min, sidestroke 25m, ranger H2O proficiency
Star 6 - water polo skills, butterfly 25m, ranger recognition and rescue Advanced Aquatics
Swimming Admission Requirements
Effective August 4, 2009
The YMCA of Niagara is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable aquatic experience. The following age restriction admission criteria for under 10 years of age are based on Public Health requirements.
Under 6 years
Under 10 years
Family swim allows parents and their children the opportunity to enjoy the pool together. Leisure pool spray features will be available during family times. Open Swim is available for non-members for a fee. For a complete listing of current Family and Open swim times available, visit one of our six membership branches or download a current schedule. Please note that times and availability may vary from branch to branch.
Includes a cardio, stretching and strength component. Since exercise in the water reduces the impact on joints, it is a gentle yet effective way to achieve fitness. Members may choose between Shallow water Aquafit, Deep water Aquafit which requires some swimming ability and Aquafit in Moderation. For a complete listing of current Aquafit classes available, visit one of our six membership branches or download a current schedule. Please note that times and availability may vary from branch to branch.
Regularly scheduled times are designated in our pool schedule for lane swimming. To ensure a positive experience for all, ropes divide the pool into lanes so you may choose the lane that is right for you. Lanes may be provided for slow, medium and fast swimmers as well as a leisure lane for participants who wish to water walk, exercise or swim leisurely. Swimmers are asked to swim counter clockwise, keeping the centre of the lane open for passing.
For a complete listing of current lane swim times available, visit one of our six membership branches or download a current schedule. Please note that times and availability may vary from branch to branch.
The YMCA has a long history of encouraging individuals both to assume responsibility for themselves and to express a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others. This sentiment is reflected in our commitment to recruiting, training and developing qualified and mature swimming Instructors and Lifeguards. What are the requirements to become a certified lifeguard?
What are the requirements to become a certified YMCA Instructor? Role The YMCA Swim Instructor has completed a program of training and uses his/her knowledge and skills a qualified teacher of swimming, lifesaving and aquatic activities. Pre-requisites
For a complete listing of current NLS and Instructor classes available, visit one of our five membership branches for specific dates and times or download the Enrichment schedule below . Certification Courses