When are the lessons?
Lessons take place every Saturday at the Jack Purcell Community Centre and Lowertown Pool, 6:30-7:15 pm. Lessons are staged in two seasons (Fall and Winter). Please visit our Schedule page for more information.
At the beginning of each season, we partner children up with an instructor according to their particular needs. The instructor assesses the swimming level of the child at the first lesson and identifies skills they will work towards during the season. Each child works with their own, private instructor for the entirety of the season.
Typically 8 or 9 lessons.
Each weekly lesson lasts 45 minutes.
We charge a fee of $20 per season.
This is not a problem! We accept children regardless of their swimming skill level.
Our mission is to provide accessible and affordable water safety education to children with special needs. In order to make water safety instruction more financially accessible, we set our registration fees low enough that cost should not represent a significant barrier to entry. We are able to charge fees this low because our organization is completely volunteer-run and coordinated. We lower our costs by using innovative techniques to delocalize administrative tasks, avoiding the need for dedicated offices, staff or communications equipment. In addition to minimizing operating expenses, we also actively fundraise around campus and solicit donations from the public and private sectors.
Registration fees are paid in advance in person, a week or two before the first day of lessons
Who are the instructors?
Instructors are all volunteer University students who have been put through a three-step screening and training process.
Two fully qualified, paid lifeguards, employed directly from the pool are always on duty during lessons.
Yes! It is very important that parents alert us and your instructor in a timely manner if their child is not coming to lessons or if their child will be arriving late. This gives due notification, preventing the instructor from arriving to the pool without a child to teach. We need the collaboration of all parents involved to help us retain all of our wonderful volunteers. Consequently, 3 absences without advance notice will result in the loss of the child's participation in the program.
At this time, we are unable to offer lessons during the summer. Because all of our instructors are University students, most are away or unavailable during the summer months.
Your child should arrive with their bathing suit and a towel, nothing else is necessary. Optional items include a bathing cap, nose plug and goggles.
No, each child is paired up with an instructor, so there is no need for the parents to enter the water. There is, however, an observation area located close to the poolside where parents can sit and watch lessons.
Lessons are held every Saturday during our scheduled seasons from 6:00-6:45 PM and 6:50-7:35 PM at Jack Purcell and 6:30-7:15 PM and 7:20-8:05 PM.
Unfortunately not, one of the ways in which we are able to reduce our costs is by running many private lessons simultaneously.
Our clientele includes children with Down's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Epilepsy, Attention Deficit Disorder, Blind/Low-Vision, Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing, as well as many other conditions. No official diagnosis is required.
Please contact us and we can work out a flexible payment plan.
Depending on enrollment, there may be up to 24 children in the pool, each with their own instructor.
Yes! Please make donations payable to SWAM Canada and we will issue a non-tax deductible receipt. At the moment we are only able to accept donations in person, although we are hard at work on an online donation system.
Please visit our registration page.
Unfortunately not. Please use the online form.
Because of the high processing fees associated with other payment methods, we are only able to accept payment by cash or cheque at this time.
Unfortunately not at this time.
Yes, there is public parking available in front of the community centre, as well as on adjacent streets.
Do you have a list of instructors looking for employment as babysitters/private instructors over the summer?
Yes! Please send us an e-mail with a description of what you are looking for along with the subject line "Summer List".