Swimming Lessons

Learning to swim opens up a world of recreation opportunities.

The Lifesaving Society's Swim for Life® program teaches swimmers water safety and swimming skills. Learn with your young child in parent and tot classes. Preschoolers and children learn confidence and independence in group classes. Youth build strength and endurance to learn lifesaving skills. Swimming is an important lifelong skill and there is something for everyone.

Register Online      SWIMMING LESSON GUIDE

Lifesaving Society Swim for Life Programs

Swim chart

Preschool levels – age 4 months to 5 years

Parent and Tot classes

Parent and Tot 1

For parents with 4 to 12 month old babies. Explore the water together under the watchful eyes of your instructor. Learn through games, songs and play. You will learn how to safely support your child while they discover water.

Parent and Tot 1

For parents with 12 to 24 month old toddlers exploring the water together. You support your child while they learn floating and kicking. You can celebrate together when your child gets their face wet and blow bubbles for the first time.

Parent and Tot 1

At 2 to 3 years old independent children are ready to explore. Help them practice jumping in and climbing out, floating and kicking. Learn to play together while staying safe within arm's reach.

Preschool classes

Preschool 1

These preschoolers learn safety while getting in and out of the water. They'll learn to move in shallow water and use a life-jacket. Using games, equipment and activities, they become comfortable without their parents.

Preschool 2

These youngsters will explore the water, learning to submerge and exhale underwater. Buoyant aids help them discover rollovers, glides and flutter kicks.

Preschool 3

These preschoolers will master their floats, glides and short swims on their front and back (3 m). They'll be able to pick up objects from the waist deep water. Using life-jackets they learn to jump and roll into the deep end.

Preschool 4

These capable preschoolers will strengthen their flutter kicks and try swimming front crawl. They'll start learning to support themselves in deep water. In the end they'll do solo jumps and side rolls into deep water. Their lifejacket will support them while they learn to tread water and swim to safety (7 m) in the deep end.

Preschool 5

These skilled youngsters will master short swims using front crawl and back crawl (5m). They are ready to forward roll into deep water with their lifejacket and to tread water. Here they will get their first chance to try whip kick and fitness training.

Please Note:

  • Swimmers who are not toilet trained must wear a waterproof swimmers diaper;
  • Swimmers must be 3 years old at the start of the session to enroll in preschool classes;
  • Swimmers who are 5 years old may register in either the preschool or children's levels;
  • Completion of preschool levels is not mandatory to progress to swimmer levels;
  • Children who have completed preschool 4 or 5 can register directly in swimmer 2.

Children's Levels – Age 5 to 12 years

Swimmer 1

These beginning swimmers work on safe movement through the water and build confidence. They learn to enter and exit the water. When ready they'll do floats, glides and kicking on their front and back without help. They explore jumping into deep water, using lifejackets, they learn to tread water.

Swimmer 2

These developing swimmers work on jumping and rolling into deep water. They learn to self-rescue by treading water and distance swim (10 m) using either front crawl or back crawl. Their fitness improves with the use of interval training. They'll try ‘vertical' whip kick and strengthen their front and back crawl.

Swimmer 3

These swimmers do forward rolls into deep water and learn dives. Watch them learn handstands and front somersaults underwater. They'll work on their front crawl, back crawl and whip kick over short distances. They continue to grow stronger by swimming 15 metres and treading water for 30 seconds.

Swimmer 4

These swimmers will swim further with their front crawl and back crawl. They'll get introduced to breaststroke arms drills, underwater swims and front crawl sprints. Interval training will add to their fitness level. By the end they'll be able to meet the Swim to Survive® standard: Roll into deep water, tread water (1 minute) and swim (50 m).

Swimmer 5

These swimmers will master shallow dives and cannonball (tuck jump) entries. In the water they learn eggbeater kicks and backward somersaults. They refine their front and back crawl completing 50 metres. Their breaststroke will improve as they swim 25 metres. Fitness and strength grow using interval training.

Swimmer 6

These advancing swimmers master eggbeater and scissor kicks. They continue to enhance front crawl, breaststroke and back crawl strokes. With interval training and sprints they will do a 300 metre endurance workout. For fun, they'll try stride and compact jump.

Please Note:

  • Swimmers who are 5 years old may register in either the preschool or children's levels;
  • Completion of preschool levels is not mandatory to progress to swimmer levels;
  • Children who have completed preschool 4 or 5 can register directly in swimmer 2.

Youth and Adult Levels – Ages 12 plus

Youth and Adult 1

For youth 12 or older and adults who have never taken swimming lessons before.

These beginning swimmers will work on safe entries, exits and moving in the water. They learn to control their breathing and floating. When ready they will do glides and kicking on their front and back without help. They explore jumping into deep water and treading water with lifejackets. Fitness drills will increase strength and endurance.

Youth and Adult 2

For youth 12 or older and adults who are developing swimmers.

The focus is on further developing skills and confidence. They explore underwater skills like handstands and front somersaults. Interval and sprint training will help them develop front crawl and back crawl skills. They begin standing dives, forward rolls and “tuck” jumps.

Youth and Adult 3

For youth 12 or older and adults who are advancing swimmers.

These confident swimmers will master their lifesaving kicks and swimming strokes. Work on strokes and endurance to complete a 300 metre workout and learn master dives and compact jumps. They will also learn to swim underwater to recover objects.

Private lessons

Private lessons are available for swimmers of all ages.

Work one-on-one with instructors. The lessons focus on the participants' specific needs and skill level. They can be helpful for swimmers who have repeated a level several times or have trouble in big groups. Speak with the instructor to set goals for the swimmer and lesson.

Add an extra swimmer to make a Semi-Private Class. Swimmers in different levels can share a semi-private lesson and should not be more than 1 level difference. To add a second swimmer to semi-private classes, call the Gallagher Centre at 306-786-1740. An extra fee will apply for an additional swimmer.

Pre-Lifesaving Levels

Canadian Swim Patrol

Canadian Swim Patrol builds on swimming and adds lifesaving skills. They are ideal for children and youth interested in taking aquatic leadership programs.

Rookie Patrol

Swimmers continue stroke development with 50 metre swims of front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke. Lifesaving sport skills include a 25 metre obstacle swim and 15 metre object carry. First aid focuses on assessment of alert victims, contacting EMS and treating bleeding. Fitness improves in 350 metre workouts and 100 metre timed swims.

Recommended Prerequisite: Completion of Swimmer 6

Ranger Patrol

Swimmers develop better strokes over 75 metre swims of each stroke. They tackle lifesaving sport skills in a lifesaving medley, timed object support and rescue with an aid. First aid focuses on assessment of unconscious victims, treatment of shock and obstructed airways. Skill drill develop a strong lifesaving foundation.

Recommended prerequisite: completion of Swimmer 6 and Rookie Patrol

Star Patrol

Swimmers complete 600 metre workouts, 300 metre timed swims and a 25 metre object carry. Stroke development continues in 100 metre swims. First aid focuses on treatment of bone or joint injuries and respiratory emergencies. Lifesaving skills include defence methods, victim removals and supporting victims in shallow water.

Prerequisite: Completion of Swimmer 6 and Ranger Patrol

Lifesaving Sport

The Lifesaving Sport Fundamentals program is a recreational introduction to lifesaving sport. This five-level program builds on Swim for Life. The program keeps kids active and gaining new skills. They learn team building, fair play, ethics in sport and personal responsibility. It also provides an introduction to lifesaving and lifeguard training.

What level is the right level?

The Swim for Life program has something for everyone. The lessons and progressions are designed to work with the way people of different ages learn. If you have taken lessons at a pool that doesn't use the Swim for Life program, look at this comparison chart to see where your past lessons match-up.

Free swimming assessments are available. One of our certified instructors can go in the water with your child and review key skills. If your child hasn't taken a lesson in several sessions an assessment is ideal. Our instructor will identify the best level so that you can register. Please call the Gallagher Centre at 306-786-1740 to book a free assessment with water park staff.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I have swimmers in different levels in a private lesson?

You can register a second participant in a private lesson. There can only be 1 level's difference between the swimmers.

What happens when a lesson is interrupted (power outage, fouling, etc.)?

Our instructors will adapt their lesson to teach items out of the water or in one of the other pools. Disrupted lessons cannot be rescheduled to another date.

Can I change the date/time of a lesson after I have signed up?

You can switch to swimming class on a different date or time before the lessons start. There is a $10 administrative charge.

Can I drop out of a class and get my money back?

If you ask to withdraw from a class seven days before it begins, you are eligible for a credit for the value of the course. There is a $10 administrative charge to do this. There are no credits or refunds for requests made less than seven days before the course starts.

If I miss a class can I get an extra class to make it up?

Make-up classes are not available.

What should I do if I do not know what level to register in?

Contact us at the water park to schedule a free swimming skill assessment.

We took swimming lessons in another city and don't know which level to register in, what should we do?

Look over this comparison chart of swimming programs. Contact us at the water park to schedule a free swimming skill assessment.

What should I do when I arrive at the pool for a lesson?

Check in at guest services so you can go into the change rooms. Get changed and use the washrooms before going out to the deck. Wait on deck for your instructor to call the class. If you are late, the lesson supervisor can help you find your instructor.

How do I register for a lesson?

You can register online or by calling the Gallagher Centre at 306-786-1740.

Can I ask for a specific instructor?

You are welcome to ask for a specific instructor for the class you have registered in. We cannot guarantee that the request can be met.

What should I wear for my swimming lesson?

Everyone should wear clothing designed for swimming. See our guide for appropriate swimwear.

Some people choose to wear goggles, ear plugs, swim caps or nose plugs. You can buy these items at guest services, but they are optional. We recommend people with long hair to tie it back while they are in the water.

Do you provide towels?

The water park does not provide towels

Are there lifeguards on deck during lessons?

All our instructors are also trained lifeguards. There will also be lifeguards on deck to provide extra support.

How does somebody learn to become a lifeguard?

Learn about how Aquatic Leadership programs train swimmers to be lifeguards.