The Castlegar Aquanauts swim club has been busy this fall helping local youth improve their skills in the pool.
“What we’ve had in past years is our Gator program, which is the real little guys,” said Tara Decourcy, coach’s liaison. “It’s just an introduction to swimming. It’s not so much swimming. It’s play-oriented, it’s very fun, the kids get lots of comfort in the pool. What we were finding in the past is a huge jump for those Gators to get into our Aquanaut swimming program, which is very work-oriented, swimming lots of lengths. That’s a scary thing to swim lengths and get out in that deep end all by yourself. We wanted to introduce something to bridge that gap a little bit.”
The club came up with the Widths program, which allows the young swimmers to make the transition to full pool lengths much easier.
“These little guys who’ve done a lot of the play stuff, we get them ready to swim lengths on their own,” she said. “The Widths program starts off with the kids going across the pool starting from the shallow end. As they gain more confidence and ability they move down to the deep end. The goal of this program is to get these kids all swimming lengths so they can join the Aquanauts program.”
The Aquanauts swim twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, at the Castlegar Community Complex pool. Swimmers can come once or twice a week. Widths swimmers range from five years-old to eight years-old.
“We have quite a range of skills and abilities,” said Decourcy. “We try to put kids together with kids closer to their age and ability so we can help the swimmers along at their own pace. The kids are having fun and from what I’ve heard, the parents are happy with what they’re learning.”