Aquatics important dates and notices
Learn about our transition from Red Cross swimming programs to the Lifesaving Society Swim for Life program.
Spring swim registration begins March 21 at 7 a.m.
Welcome to Strathcona County's swimming and water safety programs! Through our partnership with the 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 April to June 2023 spring season occurs at Kinsmen Leisure Centre (KLC) and Emerald Hills Leisure Centre (EHLC):
- April 3 – April 27: 7 or 8 classes, twice a week at at EHLC
- April 18 – June 25: 10 week session at KLC
- May 1 – June 26: 8 week session at EHLC
Strathcona County swimming programs are available in seasonal sessions throughout the year. All currently available swimming program categories are listed below.
Spring break swimming camps
We offer a selection of spring break camps including options for private lessons, leadership and Swim for Life programs.
Parent and Tot (ages 4 months - 3Y)
Previously called Red Cross Swim Kids starfish, duck and sea turtle. View swimming transition chart.
Parent & Tot 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 0.3 - 0.5 metres.
Parent & Tot 1: Age: 4-12 months
Parents and babies will explore the water together under the watchful eyes of their instructor. They will learn how to safely enter and exit the water and work on getting ready to discover the water safely. Parents will learn how to safely support their child while they play.
Parent & Tot 2: Age: 12-24 months
Instructors will lead sessions to help parents with children learn basic water safety skills in a welcoming environment. Parents are taught how to support their child with assisted entries and exits into water and support them in learning to float and kick. They can celebrate together when the child can get their face wet and blow bubbles for the first time.
Parent & Tot 3: Age: 2-3 years
Parents will work towards supporting their toddlers in becoming more independent in the water. Getting in, getting out, going under, and floating, parents and toddlers will be introduced to different iterations of these fundamental skills.
Swim for Life Preschool levels 1-5 (ages 3Y-5Y)Permanent link to Swim for Life Preschool levels 1-5 (ages 3Y-5Y)
Previously called Red Cross Swim Kids sea otter, salamander, sunfish, crocodile and whale. View swimming transition chart.
Children 3-5 years old will have fun while gaining foundational water skills and become comfortable in the water. Water Smart® education is incorporated into all preschool levels to support children in learning how to keep themselves safe in and around the water.
Swim for Life preschool registration
Preschoolers will be assisted by their instructor when learning to enter and exit water safely, jump into chest deep water, and put their faces in the water to blow bubbles. Becoming comfortable with floats and glides and moving safely in shallow water while wearing lifejackets will help them gain confidence with their water skills.
Preschoolers will work on becoming more independent with their water skills. Some of these skills include jumping into chest deep water unassisted, submerging and exhaling underwater, and floating and gliding with various buoyant aids. They will be introduced to lateral rollovers and practice their flutter kick on their backs.
Preschoolers will kick and glide their way through the water on their fronts and backs. They will work on retrieving objects from the bottom in water that is waist deep, and work towards mastering their floats, rollovers, glides, and kicks. In this level they work their way into deeper water for side entries and jumping in with their lifejackets on.
Preschoolers will gain some independence in deep water. They will practice jumping into deeper water (including getting out by themselves), sideways entries, and opening their eyes underwater. These swimmers in training will work on completing 5m of front crawl in their lifejackets and work on their ability to tread water.
Preschoolers will work towards achieving important swimming milestones. They will work on being able to support themselves treading in deep water for 10 seconds and complete 5m swims with front crawl and back crawl. Wearing a lifejacket, they will practice forward roll entries into deep water, learn to whip kick in a vertical position, and be introduced to interval training.
Swim for Life Swimmer levels 1-6 (ages 5Y-12Y)Permanent link to Swim for Life Swimmer levels 1-6 (ages 5Y-12Y)
Previously called Red Cross Swim Kids levels 1-7. View swimming transition chart.
Swimmer is a 6-level, success-oriented learn to swim program for children 5-12 years old. There is a prominent focus on in-water swimming practice as swimmers learn fundamental strokes and skills, mastering them as they progress through the program. Swimmers also learn how to be safe in, on, and around the water through Water Smart® education incorporated into every level.
Swim for Life Swimmer 1-6 registration
Building the foundation of swimming skill development beginner swimmers will gain confidence in the water as they learn safe entries into various depths of water, treading water in a lifejacket, opening their eyes underwater, and breath control. Once they have learned their floats, rollovers, glides, and kicks from front to back, they will front crawl their way into the next level.
Swimmers will gain comfort in deeper water by jumping in, learning their sideways entry, and treading water without a lifejacket. Swimmers will be challenged by the introduction of various skills including, flutter kick on their front, back, and side, vertical whip kick with an aid, and swimming front crawl and back crawl for 10m. Swimmers will get to work on their Swim to Survive skills and be introduced to interval training.
Swimmers will make a splash with their kneeling dives and forward roll entries. Swimmers will be challenged with the introduction to more difficult (but fun) skills such as handstands in shallow water and in front somersaults (in water). Increased time and distance components are incorporated for skills learned such as flutter kick on front and back, whip kick on back, front and back crawl, and interval training.
Swimmers will move from a beginner to intermediate swimming level. Swimmers will complete standing dives, tread water for 1 minute, and work towards being able to swim underwater for 5m. Swimmers will achieve the Swim to Survive standard by being able to roll into deep water, tread water for 1 minute, and swim 50m. In addition to improving their front crawl, back crawl, and whip kick, swimmers will be introduced to breaststroke.
Swimmers will be challenged with a whole new set of skills; Shallow dives, tuck jumps (cannonball entries), eggbeater kick, and backward somersaults (in water). Technique and endurance will also receive greater focus as swimmers will need to complete longer distance swims and interval training sessions for all their strokes.
As the final level in the Swimmer program, swimmers will build up their advanced skillset. Swimmers will work towards mastering stride entries, compact jumps, and lifesaving kicks. They will also refine their strokes to increase their swimming strength, power, and endurance - critical for success in the 300m workout required to complete the level.
Previously called Red Cross Swim Kids levels 8, 9 & 10. View swimming transition chart.
The Lifesaving Society’s 3 level Canadian Swim Patrol program is for swimmers who are ready to go beyond learn-to-swim. The programs focus on developing strength and proficiency while introducing swimmers to the challenging world of lifesaving. Swimmers will have fun enhancing their capability in the water, increasing their physical conditioning, and learning lifesaving judgement. Each level will continue to develop swimmers' strokes and provide a skill foundation that will prepare them for success in the Society's Bronze Medal Awards.
Each level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program has three modules: Water Proficiency, First Aid, and Recognition and Rescue.
Rookie Patrol lays the foundation of the Swim Patrol program. It includes 4 main components: stroke refinement, fitness, first aid, and lifesaving. Stroke refinement is focused on front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke. Fitness components include a 350m workout and 100m timed swim. Swimmers will learn about assessing conscious victims, contacting EMS, and treatment for bleeding. Rookie Patrol is rounded off with an introduction to lifesaving skills, including self rescue techniques, victim recognition, and using throwing assists.
Stroke refinement and underwater proficiency continues to be a focus in Ranger Patrol as it is critical for supporting swimmer fitness. Swimmers can expect their fitness levels to increase as they work towards a 200m timed swim. First aid at the Ranger Patrol level includes assessment of unconscious victims, treating for shock, and procedures for obstructed airways. Lifesaving skills are expanded to include object support and non-contact rescues with a buoyant aid.
Star Patrol will prepare swimmers for the Bronze Star Award. Strokes will continue to be refined through completion of 100m swims. It demands good physical conditioning as swimmers will be challenged with a 600m workout, 300m timed swim, and a 25m object carry. First aid at this level focuses on treatment of bone and joint injuries, and respiratory emergencies like asthma and allergic reactions. Lifesaving skills include in water defence methods, rolling over and supporting victims in shallow water, and removing victims from shallow water. Swimmers that complete Star Patrol will be well on their way to becoming bona fide Lifesavers
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.
Leadership and Certification (instructor and lifeguard)Permanent link to Leadership and Certification (instructor and lifeguard)
Leadership and Certification registration
Did you know the Lifesaving Society recently updated their certification programs for lifeguards and instructors? View our lifeguard and instructor development program page to learn more.
Private lessons are offered as single class, 30 minute lessons or as multiple-week sessions.
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.
Certified Diver Refresher: Are you a CERTIFIED scuba diver and want to brush up on your skills, this refresher session is for you! You will work with a PADI instructor or divemaster in a small group and go through a 20-skill circuit to boost your confidence for your next dive adventure. Includes a PADI Pro signature in your logbook on completion.
Once registered, we will contact you to complete the required paperwork. Please remember to bring your certification card and log book, as well as any snorkel gear and equipment you own. Gear rental (as needed) is included.
Bubble Around: If you have not been diving for a few months and are looking to blow a few bubbles and get back into the swing of things, this option is perfect for you. We provide any gear you need - just bring your buddy and jump in to practice your skills and dive around. This option is for CERTIFIED DIVERS and will NOT provide a signature in your log book, as you are not working directly with a PADI professional.
This program is designed and targeted for swimmers who require complex physical, emotional, or cognitive adaptations. Instructors are knowledgable about a variety 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 Sensory: In this 1 on 1 experience 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 email@example.com 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.
Homeschool lesson registration
Homeschool lessons are offered during the traditional school year from October to June.
Strathcona County schools
Did you know we offer curriculum-based aquatics programs for schools?
Know before you go
There are a few things you may want to know before taking part in Strathcona County swimming programs.
Did you know? After more than 75 years in operation, the Canadian Red Cross is winding down its swimming and water safety program. Effective September 2022 Strathcona County transitioned from the Red Cross Swim Kids program to the Lifesaving Society's Swim For Life learn to swim and lifesaving programs.
Know before you go: swimming
- 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
- 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 pulley 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!
Where to meet your instructor
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
Common questions: swimming
1. Why is swimming lesson availability limited?Permanent link to Why is swimming lesson availability limited?
We understand there is frustration about the availability of swimming lessons in Strathcona County.
A regional lifeguard and instructor shortage is currently impacting our ability to maximize teaching spaces within our facilities, and we are working to recruit and recertify instructors as quickly as we can. We are also taking measures such as rebuilding daytime school swim programs and adjusting private lesson times to allow for more group programs.
While there is a small percentage of people registering for County swim lessons from outside of our community, this impact is minimal and consistent with the number of County residents registering for programs in neighbouring municipalities.
We encourage you to visit strathcona.ca/SwimAvailability to learn more about current impacts and actions we are taking.
2. What can I do after I have completed Star Patrol?Permanent link to What can I do after I have completed Star Patrol?
After Star Patrol there are a variety of program options for individuals who wish to keep swimming. If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard or swimming instructor, check out our certification and leadership programs or Tidal Waves Lifeguard Club. If fitness and fun is your goal maybe take a peek at Ocean Sports or adult & teen programs! And of course public lap swim is offered all year long.
3. What if I forget where I am registered?Permanent link to What if I forget where I am registered?
No problem! It happens to the best of us! To see any registrations for yourself or members of your family account, just log in to your RecOnline profile and navigate to the My Courses page of your profile. Select the name of that family member who should be registered and hit the “Search” button, you will be able to see any courses that individual is registered for.
If you have registered for a single private lesson, all of that information will be located on the Bookings page instead!
If you don’t have an online account or you aren’t seeing the information you expect please give us a call at 780-464-2112.
What if my family misses a class?
If you miss a class do not be discouraged! All of our instructors are trained to provide multiple learning and evaluation options for all skills! Just come to the class next week and continue working on improving your skills!
If you miss the first class, you may get a phone call from us confirming that you still wish to be registered and haven’t forgotten about us.
If you miss the last class, your progress cards will be left at the front desk of the facility where you attended lessons for you to pick up at your convenience.
5. How do I withdraw or change my registration?Permanent link to How do I withdraw or change my registration?
If you would like to withdraw from a course that you have registered in, please call our front desk at 780-464-2112 for assistance.
6. I have added myself/my child to a swimming waitlist, now what?Permanent link to I have added myself/my child to a swimming waitlist, now what?
The Swimming and Water Safety team monitors waitlists up until the 3rd week in a 10 week session! If a space opens between the time you waitlisted and the 3rd day of a session you will get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org sent to the address that you have listed on your account with us (occasionally these emails have been know to go to Junk mailboxes). Please ensure that your account email is accurate and one that you check regularly.
Once you receive this email you will have 48hrs to respond to the email or call the front desk (780-464-2112) to confirm your space. If you do not contact us within the 48hr window, the space will be automatically offered to the next individual on the waitlist or reopened to the public.
If you would like to to see all of the waitlists that you or a member of your family are currently on, log in to your RecOnline account, navigate to the "my courses" tab and select "waitlisted courses" and the member of your family you would like to look up from the drop down menus, then click "search". If you do not see a waitlist that you expect to see, select "confirmed courses" on the drop down and "search", if the course appears in confirmed courses, a spot has become available and it is being held for you, please check your email or call 780-464-2112 to confirm your registration.
7. I successfully registered and paid for a program, but I did not receive a confirmation email. What do I do?Permanent link to I successfully registered and paid for a program, but I did not receive a confirmation email. What do I do?
If you registered on the first morning registrations were available, please note confirmation emails are not emailed out until 8:30 a.m. on the opening day of registration. This helps us reduce server load while many people are trying to register at once. If you still do not have a confirmation email by 10 a.m. (or within 20 minutes of processing your registration on any other day), we suggest checking your junk email box for an email from email@example.com.
If you still cannot find a confirmation email please contact us at 780-464-2112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Page ID: 50034