Memories of swimming lessons

Swimming lessons used to be in the cold Okanagan Lake.

This is the first week of school summer holidays and parents sigh a breath of relief that the school year is now complete.

Kids are excited about a change of routine and after a few mornings of sleeping in they are looking for something to do with their time.

Before the Aquatic and Fitness Centre was built, swimming lessons were offered at the old Rotary Reach at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Highway 97.

Red Cross swim lessons were scheduled daily for two week blocks through the months of July and August.

I remember taking my Bronze Medallion exam during a very windy raining day and the exam had to be stopped due to the white caps coming into the beach.

Once the weather cleared the exam continued and we were able to complete our underwater searches.

In 1976, the Aquatic and Fitness Centre opened.

It was a joint project with the Summerland School District and the District of Summerland.

The beach front swim lessons ended and all swim programs were scheduled at the new 25-metre swimming pool.

We continue to offer the daily Red Cross swim lessons during the months of July and August.

Did you know that at Rotary Beach it is 25 metres from the inside of the F dock to the I dock?

How important are swim lessons?

Swimming is a life skill and everyone is exposed to water at some point in their lives.

We live on a lake and everyone needs to be water smart, whether they are at the beach, in a boat, at a pool or fishing.

Being water smart may save your life or someone else’s.

Red Cross and Lifesaving Swim programs are not only teaching the basics of swim strokes but also teaching boat safety, ice safety, first-aid and personal fitness.

We work with the schools in Summerland to offer each student a learn to swim program.

The Grade 3s receive a 10-lesson Red Cross program through the school year.

Fortunately this program has been a priority for each school and their PAC’s.

Red Cross and Lifesaving programs are scheduled and start the week of July 2 and run through until Aug. 24.

Now when your kids are looking for something to do this summer, check out the Aquatic programs. They are fun, educational and lifelong learning.

See you at the pool.

Brenda Ingram is the Programs and Facility Manager for the District of Summerland and proud to be a long-time resident of this great community.


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