We all know that swimming lessons are the optimal way to encourage water safety as well as being a fantastic fitness option during the cooler fall, winter and spring months. In fact, aquatic activities are great for the whole family and one of the city’s best options for fun in the water seven days per week is the Dovercourt Recreation Centre.
Dovercourt’s pool has been specifically designed to accommodate lessons, with features such as a beach entry ramp plus a variety of pods, making it easy for instructors to closely supervise and interact with students. In addition, there is a dedicated shallow pool for young swimmers to play safely and become water wise. Another bonus is the new $20 Swim and Gym Pass, so parents can work out in Dovercourt’s fitness centre during their kids’ swim lessons. Perhaps best of all, the water in Dovercourt’s pool is always warm, just like the facility’s friendly instructors.
Dovercourt’s learn to swim program focuses on improving the three principal swim strokes plus increasing confidence and ability in the water. Instructors develop weekly lesson plans which are reviewed by supervisors, and regular staff training session plus performance expectations ensure that your family will receive top-quality, enthusiastic instruction. New this year are online swim report cards so you can stay informed about your child’s progress, and celebrate their achievements with them.
“Dovercourt’s reputation as one of the city’s best employers for young adults means we are fortunate to be able to hire highly skilled instructors who are passionate about teaching children proper technique,” explains Christine Pelletier, Dovercourt’s Manager of Aquatics Programs. “All our swim lessons follow the the higher standards of the Lifesaving Society which emphasizes more time spent actively learning water safety. Our end-of-session Survival Day is a unique element that provides a fun yet powerful way to teach children skills that could enable them to save themselves or others in real-life scenarios.”
Dovercourt is considered by many to be a hub in our community, notes Program Director Kathleen Finn. “Many families initially come through our doors because they understand that swim lessons are a necessity; that first introduction usually leads to long-term relationships. We have also been proud to offer low or no cost swim lessons to new Canadians in the community, because water safety is definitely a life skill everyone needs.”
Dovercourt’s aquatics staff undergoes extensive training and participates in regular refreshers on safety, rescue situations, changes to current standards and teaching techniques. “Many of our senior aquatics staff are instructor and lifeguard trainers; they serve as a valuable resource for our entire aquatics team. In addition, most of our current staff members have benefitted from a special offering, whereby if you complete your Swim Instructor and National Lifeguard Service training with us, you are guaranteed a job,” says Christine. “We have had great success with hiring staff who have learned and trained at Dovercourt; they are very committed to maintaining our high standards,” says Christine.
A great complement to Dovercourt’s swimming lessons are the regular recreational swim times throughout the week, which give families an opportunity to reinforce accomplishments gained through lessons. Thanks to the generous support of The McCann Team (The Guy With The Dog) Real Estate, kids swim for free on Friday nights. During recreational swims, kids can take advantage of the features of the pool to which they’ve been introduced during lessons, including the rope swing and slides; when not supervising their kids, adults can relax in the hot tub or sauna conveniently located adjacent to the pool.
Speaking of adults, a variety of aquafit classes – part of Dovercourt’s comprehensive fitness offerings – present wonderful opportunities to maintain or enhance fitness levels. Dovercourt even offers specialized rehabilitative aquafit which is an ideal program post surgery or injury as it is low impact yet offers gentle stretch and strengthening in addition to cardio.
“We are justifiably proud of the quality of our swim lesson program at Dovercourt,” says Kathleen. “Signup starts November 8 for the next session, including group and private lessons for learners of all ages. Look for the Fall 2 flyer on Dovercourt’s website, with printed copies in our building and in the November 10 issue of the Kitchissippi Times. We look forward to welcoming you to our warm, inviting pool.”