Lessons help swimmers of all ages and skills develop a lifelong love of swimming
May is National Water Safety Month, and the perfect time to get children involved in swim lessons. As America’s Swim Instructor, the Y is the most accessible community resource to prevent drowning and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of swimming—teaching more than one million kids a year swimming and water safety skills.
This year, YMCA of Columbia has updated its lessons to increase the accessibility and enjoyment of swimming to all ages and skill levels. The latest evolution of Y Swim Lessons accommodates varying abilities to help foster a sense of achievement as swimmers’ progress between levels. Through this approach, advanced swimmers flow more easily to higher levels while swimmers who need more instruction can learn at their own pace. This results in more confident swimmers who stick with lessons and develop a love for swimming that can last a lifetime.
“ALL children, regardless of background, skills or age, should have access to swim lessons,” said Wendy Broderick, Chief Development & Marketing Officer. “It’s a rite of passage that can lead to a love of swimming that lasts a lifetime, while increasing confidence, physical activity and well-being.”
There are three general categories of Y Swim Lessons
- Swim Starters develops water enrichment and aquatic readiness in children ages 6 months to 3 years. This category focuses on developing swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences. Parents also learn how to supervise children in the water, how to prevent accidents and how to plan for emergencies.
- Swim Basics develops personal water safety and basic swimming skills in students of all ages. Swimmers develop a high level of comfort in the water by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exit if they fall into a body of water.
- Swim Strokes introduces and refines stroke technique in older students (school age, teens and adults). Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke technique, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.
The Y introduced the concept of group swim lessons in 1909. Now, each year in more than 2,000 pools across the country, the Y teaches more than a million children from all backgrounds invaluable water safety and swim skills. Here in the Midlands, the Y teaches hundreds of children water safety and swimming each year.
To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover the costs. Families interested in learning more about Y swim lessons and water safety classes should visit columbiaymca.org/aquatics.