SwimAbilities News and Updates
(up to date as of October 11, 2016)
- SwimAbilities is returning to Edmonton! The University of Alberta Aquatic Centre will be running SwimAbilities classes starting in January 2017. See SwimAbilities Locations below for more details.
- A Teaching SwimAbilities course will be running December 10 and 11, 2016 in Edmonton. Swimming instructors who hold a current award may contact Laura Gilligan, Lifesaving Society Expert Advisor for more information.
- SwimAbilities continues run in Calgary. See SwimAbilities Locations below for more details.
- Every child who does not yet fit into regular lessons is welcome in SwimAbilities, regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosis.
What is SwimAbilities?
This community-based, leveled swimming program is geared for children ages 3 to 16, with special needs, who need additional support to achieve their beginning swimmer goals and to increase their safety, independence, and enjoyment in and around the water.
Our goal is to have all children, regardless of their individual needs, swimming as independently and safely as possible!
SwimAbilities will be starting up again in January 2017 at the University of Alberta. Courses can be viewed online after November 1, and registration starts November 15.
Classes will run at the University of Alberta swimming pool, and registration will be online, or families can register by phone at 780-492-2231.
SwimAbilities is run in Calgary through the City of Calgary. Please call 311 for information about registration and schedules.
A Teaching SwimAbilities course was offered in Claresholm in the spring of 2016. Please contact Claresholm Aquatic Centre directly for information regarding their swimming programs for children with special needs.
Communities who would like to offer SwimAbilities would need to have a certified swimming instructor take a Teaching SwimAbilities course run through Lifesaving Society Alberta & Northwest Territories Affiliates.
Please contact Laura Gilligan, a Lifesaving Society Expert Advisor, or the Lifesaving Society Alberta & Northwest Territories directly if you have further questions.
Deciding On A Level
If you don’t yet know which level to put your child in, a general rule of thumb when deciding on a level is to choose the one where the child will be most successful, yet still challenged to improve their skills. A very quick and basic way to decide is the following:
- Can your child swim 15 meters or more on their front and back with no life jacket or floaties? If they aren’t yet, see the next bullet. If they are, SwimAbilities may not be able to meet your child’s needs. See Alternative Swimming Options for ideas on what to do.
- Can your child swim 3 meters on their front and their back with no life jacket or floaties? If they aren’t yet, see the next bullet. If they are, SwimAbilities Level 4 could meet their swimming needs. See SwimAbilities Level 4 for more information.
- Can your child float on their front and on their back, and swim one meter with no lifejacket or floaties? If they aren’t yet, see the next bullet. If they are, SwimAbilities Level 3 could meet their swimming needs. See SwimAbilities Level 3 for more information.
- Is your child comfortable in the water and able to go under water either with minimal help, or all by themselves? If they aren’t yet, see the next bullet. If they are, SwimAbilities Level 2 could meet their swimming needs. See SwimAbilities Level 2 for more information.
- Great news! SwimAbilities Level 1 is just right for children who are not yet comfortable in the water, or not yet going under water. See SwimAbilities Level 1 for more information.
Our Frequently Asked Questions Page provides the answers to many more questions about SwimAbilities including information about who would benefit, families or aides in the water, swimming levels, and instructors.
Please contact Laura Gilligan, a Lifesaving Society Expert Advisor, if you have questions about SwimAbilities , or Lifesaving Society Alberta & Northwest Territories for further information on SwimAbilities, running SwimAbilities at your facility, or running a Teaching SwimAbilities course at your facility.