As an adult

As an adult

Learning swimming skills as an adult

Learning to swim can be a fun and challenging process at any age.

Learning to swim can be a fun and challenging process at any age.

For young children, some enter the pool for the first time all smiles as they hold onto their parents while others are filled with fear and anxiety. However, not every child learns to swim. What is it like to learn to swim as an adult, and face an age old fear?

Meet Gurpinder Curry. In 2009, Gurpinder moved to Summerland from Punjab, India.

In 2011, Gurpinder’s son Arjin was born. Health complications and numerous surgeries followed. Her doctor recommended swimming to improve her strength. However, Gurpinder did not know how to swim.

Although previously she had taken weekly parent and tot swim lessons with her then 16-month-old son, she never waded beyond the shallow end.

Now, with her health goals in mind, Gurpinder was up for the challenge to learn to swim for herself and her health.

In January of this year, Gurpinder signed up for private swimming lessons with lifeguard and instructor Wanda Ward.

Wanda shares, “When Gurpinder started, she had never put her head under the water. Initially she had fear, but gained confidence really quickly. She has good coordination, kinesthetic awareness and hand-eye coordination. We started with breathing, then front and back floats, assisted to unassisted. She learned to stand up from a floating position. Next was learning how to rollover to her back to breathe.” By her second lesson she jumped into the deep end with a noodle and floated. “I would show her a skill and she would do it.”

With only three lessons, she is now swimming on her back across the pool.

Gurpinder continues to take swimming lessons once a week with Wanda, and practices on her own another to three times a week.

Gurpinder is a role model to her son and us all. We can learn anything at any age- with the will, right support and attitude.

Red Cross states that on average there are 400 drownings in Canada each year. The importance of learning to be water safe is critical, especially when we live next to a lake.

“Since we have beaches here, it is most important to me that when my son is older, he can swim safely by himself,” shares Gurpinder.

“I love swimming. I didn’t get a chance to learn to swim before. I feel so much better, more confident. I recommend swimming 100 per cent for your life and health. I noticed when I started swimming, I’m feeling better, I sleep better and I feel stress free.”

“I feel confident that she will be able to swim safely with her son at the lake and not be afraid to help him if he needs it,” says Wanda.

Kudos to you Gurpinder. Congratulations!

Adult Learn to Swim one-on-one lessons are available for $15 per half hour with our qualified lifeguard instructors at the Summerland Aquatic Centre. Call 250-494-0447 for more information.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.