DAVIDSON—Swimming lessons will be offered under a new program this summer.
Last Tuesday, Davidson town council agreed with recreation director Trevor Ouellette’s recommendation the town switch from the current Red Cross program to the Life Saving Society (LSS) Swim for Life program.
He advised council to make the change mainly due to changes to the Red Cross module that are coming in 2016 and because the LSS program, with its focus on drowning prevention, is better suited to rural communities.
“Rural Saskatchewan is starting to switch over to LSS because, why do parents want kids to take swim lessons? So they can be safe in the water,” Ouellette said.
He said people want their kids to know how to swim so they can be safe at the lake or out on the boat.
He said many communities offer the LSS program.
“Red Cross, they teach you to be a swimmer,” Ouellette said pointing out the Red Cross Swim Kids program is very stroke focused. “Life Saving Society Swim for Life teaches you to be self aware and self-rescue at an early age.”
Another benefit to making the switch, he said, is Red Cross’s changes will make it difficult for Davidson to train new swim instructors due to its limited, 10-week swim season. The new Red Cross program requires that instructors be 16 years of age and they will only be certified to instruct lessons after completing a 5-step process.
With its short swim season, Ouellette said it would take two swim seasons to qualify an instructor, whereas cities that have multiple indoor pools can train their instructors anytime.
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Editor’s note: this story has been updated.