Swimming programs

Little girl swimming in lessons.

Know before you go: registered programs

  • November 23: programs visible online
  • December 7: registration starts for all programs (except swimming)
  • December 14: swimming program registration

Strathcona County is making every effort to ensure you are safe while taking part in our recreation and culture programs. COVID-19 safety measures can vary by program area, so please make sure you are aware of your program's know before you go considerations before arriving at your class.

Last modified: Nov. 9, 2021, 1:16 p.m.

Welcome to Strathcona County's swimming and water safety programs! Working with our partners at the Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society of Canada, all of our professional aquatic team members hold a complement of certifications to ensure you have the best experience every time you register.

Swimming for the January - March 2022 winter season is in two sessions at Emerald Hills Leisure Centre (EHLC) or Kinsmen Leisure Centre (KLC):

  • Session 1: January 10 - March 21, (omit Feb 21) at EHLC
    • Omit February 21
  • Session 2: January 10 - March 21 (omit Feb 21) at KLC
    • Omit February 21

Programs offered

Strathcona County swimming programs are available in seasonal sessions throughout the year. All currently available swimming program categories are listed below.

Swimming programs

  • These programs require a caregiver 14 years of age or older to accompany each participant in the water every class. Taught exclusively in the Kids Pool basin where the depth ranges from .3 m to .5 m 

    Parent and Tot registration

    Starfish/Duck: Open to any student who would normally register in Starfish, or Duck. Ideal for children 4-24 months of age. Babies and their caregivers work on getting wet, rhythmic breathing, moving forward and backward, front and back float with recovery, and shallow water entries and exits.  

    Sea Turtle: Ideal for children 24-36 months of age. Toddlers and their caregivers work on submersion, front and back floats and glides, jumping into chest-deep water with assistance, kicking on front, and front swim.

  • Participants do not require a caregiver in the water, however a caregiver is more than welcome to accompany the participant into the class to provide additional assistance, support or enjoyment!  

    This program is ideal for students aged 3 – 6 years. Levels are progressive so it is recommended that students complete the previous level before registering in the next.  

    Red Cross Swim Preschool registration

    If you would like to maintain a physical distance between your child and the other participants and/or instructor, please ensure that your swimmer comes with a caregiver who can be in the water, within arms reach of the swimmer, for safety purposes.

    Sea Otter: Taught exclusively in the Kids Pool basin where the depth ranges from .3 m to .5 m. Swimmers work on front and back floats and glides, kicking on front with a buoyant object, and will be able to swim 1 metre upon completion of this level. This is the first unparented program in Red Cross Swim Preschool. 

    Salamander: Swimmers work on improving their front and back float and jumping into chest-deep water unassisted. Kicking is added to the front and back glide and swimmers will be able to swim 2 meters upon completion. This is the second unparented program in Red Cross Swim Preschool. 

    Sunfish: Swimmers work on kicking and can perform glides (front and back), enter deep water safely, float in deep water, swim with a PFD, and swim 5 meters continuously. This is the third unparented program in Red Cross Swim Preschool. 

    Crocodile/Whale: Open to any swimmers who have completed Sunfish or Crocodile. Swimmers further develop their front and back glide with kick, front and back swim, jump into deep water, swim with a PFD in deep water and swim 10 meters continuously. This level encompasses the final two unparented programs in Red Cross Swim Preschool. 

  • Participants do not require a caregiver in the water; however, a caregiver is more than welcome to accompany the participant into the class to provide additional assistance, support or enjoyment! 

    This program is ideal for students aged 5-13 years of age. Levels are progressive and it is recommended that students complete the previous level before registering in the next. 

    Red Cross Swim Kids 1 - 10 registration

    If you would like to maintain a physical distance between your child and the other participants and instructor, and your child is in level 3 or lower, please ensure that your swimmer comes with a caregiver who can be in the water, within arm's reach of the swimmer, for safety purposes  

    Level 1: Open to any swimmer 5 years of age and older! Swimmers receive an orientation to water and the pool area and work on floats, glides and kicking. Swimmers build their endurance by working on the 5m front skills. 

    Level 2: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Preschool – Sunfish or Red Cross Swim Kids Level 1. Swimmers work on propulsion skills to move through the water and to remain at the surface.  Work on front swim (3 x 5m) and back swims, and create awareness about deep-water activities and proper use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Fitness activities include the flutter kick 15m and a distance swim 10m. 

    Level 3: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Preschool – Crocodile/Whale or Red Cross Swim Kids Level 2. Swimmers are introduced to the front crawl (3x5m) and diving, and learn about swimming safety. Working on endurance, swimmers will build strength in their flutter kick and 15-metre swim. 

    Level 4: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 3. Swimmers will continue to develop their front crawl (3x10m) and back glides with a shoulder roll as a precursor for back crawl. Kneeling dives, surface support (45 seconds, deep water), and understanding self-safety by knowing your own limits will be introduced. Endurance will be built through a 25-metre swim. 

    Level 5: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 4. Swimmers will be introduced to back crawl (3 x 15m), sculling skills, whip kicks and stride dives and will further develop their front crawl with a focus on hand entry (3x15m). Safe boating skills will also be introduced in this level. Endurance will be developed with the dolphin kick and a 50-metre swim.   

    Level 6: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 5. Swimmers will refine their front crawl with a focus on body roll and breathing (3 x 25m), back crawl with a focus on arm positions (3 x 25m) and learn an elementary backstroke (3 x 15m), safety on ice, and rescuing others with throwing assists. Swimmers demonstrate their ability to tread water in deep water for 1½ minutes and the front dive. Endurance will be built through a 75-metre swim. 

    Level 7: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 6. Swimmers will build on their skills and endurance for the front crawl (50m), back crawl (50m), elementary backstroke (3x25m), and be introduced to whip kick. Safety lessons include airway and breathing obstructions and treading water using the eggbeater skill in the event of an unexpected fall into water. Endurance will be built through a 150-metre swim. 

    Level 8: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 7. Swimmers will be introduced to breaststroke (3x15m), feet-first surface dives, and rescue entries. Safety lessons include the dangers of open water, hypothermia, and responding to choking. Front crawl and back crawl distances are increased to 75 meters each. Endurance will be built through the dolphin kick and a 300-metre swim. 

    Level 9/10: Open to swimmers who have completed Red Cross Swim Kids Level 8. Swimmers will refine their 100-metre front and back crawl, elementary backstroke (50m), and breaststroke (3x25m) and learn scissor kick as a warm-up/cool-down stroke for fitness. Safety lessons include making wise choices, peer influences, self-rescue from ice, sun safety, rescuing others from ice, and surface dives. Endurance will be built through a 400 or 500-metre swim. 

  • Develop one or more swimming strokes, working towards proficiency and increased endurance. Work with your Water Safety Instructor to choose strokes and set your goals.

    Red Cross Swim Adult and Teen registration

  • Leadership and Certfication registration

    Bronze Programs: Have you completed level 8 and want to learn the skills required to prevent and respond to aquatic incidents? By developing your basic safety, fitness and lifesaving skills you can begin your training to become a lifeguard. Bronze Star is targeted for individuals under 13 years of age. If you are 13 years or older, begin with Bronze Medallion and then proceed to Bronze Cross to be fully prepared to take your lifeguarding or instructing certifications.  

    Aquatic Emergency Care: Provides training covering aspects of first aid and CPR such as: medical/legal aspects, environmental injuries, bone and joint injuries, burns, and medical emergencies as well as emergencies specific to an aquatic setting. This First Aid course is recommended for lifeguards, aquatic instructors, lifesavers, and other individuals who may need to respond to a first aid emergency in an aquatic setting. Includes CPR-C and AED certification.  

    National Lifeguard: Become a lifeguard by completing your National Lifeguard certification. This course is for those that already have their Aquatic Emergency Care/Standard First Aid, and Bronze Cross. 

    Water Safety Instructor: This Canadian Red Cross blended classroom program prepares candidates to become swim instructors that can work in a variety of facilities across Canada. Participate in classroom, eLearning, and on-the-job training to prepare you to be a top candidate for Water Safety Instructor jobs in Strathcona County or across Canada. 

  • Private lessons are offered as single class, 30 minute lessons or as multiple-week sessions.

    Private lesson registration

  • Experience monofin swimming as a mermaid or shark (shark fin and tail rental included, or bring your own)! Under the care of our magical instructors, you will participate in a mix of dry and wet class time that includes crafts, skills, games, and more as you immerse yourself in the world of the ocean. Learn valuable water safety skills, entries, and movement skills with and without tails, and develop a routine to share with your families on the last day of camp. 

    Monofin swimming registration

  • Learn the basics and try your hand at swim sports like underwater hockey, water polo, diving, lifeguard sports, and more. This is a fun, fast-paced program, no laps involved! 

    Red Cross swim sports registration

  • Discover Scuba: Join one of our experienced Professional Association of Diving Instructors and get a taste of scuba in this 90 minute experience for all ages 8 and up. 

    PADI Open Water Certification: Join Strathcona County for our PADI Learn to Dive Program (Confined Water Course) brought to you by our friends at Ocean Sports. 

    Scuba program registration

  • This program is designed and targetted for swimmers who require complex physical, emotional, or cognitive adaptations. Instructors are knowledgable about a vareity of conditions and modifications that are possible for swimmers with special needs. Lessons offered on Saturday mornings are during a dedicated lower stimulus time.

    Adapted aquatics registration

    Adapted Sensory: In this 1 on 1 expereince enjoy the freedom and mobility offered in the water and work on basic movement skills like floats and glides. This program offers one-on-one instruction for individuals with complex needs that require direct supervision and support. Participants should be recommended for this program by a member of the Aquatic Programming Team. Please contact us at swimming@strathcona.ca for additional information. 

    Adapted Basics: In this 2 participant class, work with your instructor to increase your comfort and confidence in the water as you build on your introductory swimming skills. Skills include floating, gliding, kicking, and front swim. 

    Adapted Strokes: In this 3 participant class, work with your instructor to improve endurance and increase swimming skills, distance, and efficiency. Participants should be recommended for this program by their previous swim instructor or be able to swim 25m with minimal assistance.

  • Lessons level 1 to 10 offered on Wednesdays are our dedicated homeschool swim times, and take place ahead of a public recreation swim.

    Red Cross homeschool registration

Know before you go

There are a few things you may want to know before taking part in Strathcona County swimming programs.

Know before you go: swimming

  • To access non-essential Strathcona County services such as recreation facilities, Festival Place, Strathcona County Museum and Archives and Gallery@501, please be prepared to present ID (18+), and proof of completed vaccination series, medical exemption or privately-paid negative COVID-19 test result (taken within last 72 hours).

    • A mask for observers not entering the water

    • A bathing suit and towel for each participant 

    • A swim diaper for any participants who wear diapers or $2.00 to purchase one from the front desk 

    • A change of face mask for participants if you would like to wear one onto the pool deck

    • Any progress cards for your instructor to see previous comments, not mandatory! 

    • A personal combination lock if you would like to lock up your belongings or quarters or a Loonie to purchase a locker

    • Masks are required in changerooms.

    • All of our lesson facilities offer male, female, universal and specialty changerooms 

    • The male and female changerooms offer communal changing and showering space, as well as some private changing and washroom stalls, children over the age of 5 who use these changerooms must change in the room that best matches their gender identity 

    • The universal changeroom offers multiple private changing stalls and washrooms as well as a communal shower and locker areas. This changeroom is for any and all individuals! 

    • The specialty changeroom offers a specifically designed space for individuals with complex mobility needs, this space includes a complimentary sling and pully system for guests who use a wheelchair as well as a large open space to facilitate easy changing. This space is opened on a per need basis, please stop by the front desk for access!

    • When you enter the pool deck area, please find the sign with the number or name of the class you have registered in. Your instructor will meet you there within a few minutes of the scheduled start time of your class. All of our classes run back-to-back so please be patient as they safely exit the water with their pervious class and make their way to your meeting spot.  

    • For leadership classes such a Bronzes, WSI, National Lifeguard or Aquatic Emergency Care please ask the front desk upon arrival where your class will be meeting that day 

    • If you are still unsure of where to go or how to find your class, please find a team member in a black shirt, come to the front desk, or approach any lifeguard or instructor, they will be happy to find you the help you need 

Frequently asked questions: swimming


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Last updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Page ID: 50034