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Community Services

Swimming Counts!

Swimming Counts Logo above image of student with instructor

Swimming Counts! is a pilot program* – in partnership between the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg School Division – that focuses on water safety education. Swimming Counts! combines elements from the curriculum of leaders in the aquatic swim world, Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society.

The program consists of:

  • One, 1-hour dry-land classroom-based session (at the students school)
  • Three, pool-based sessions (at a City of Winnipeg swimming pool)
    • 1st Class – 1 Hour
    • 2nd and 3rd Class – 45 Minutes

Swimming Counts! offers three levels in the pool (beginner, intermediate and advanced) to accommodate children of all skill levels and abilities. The skills and knowledge presented are to prepare students to participate safely in, on, and around water. Each child will be assessed and challenged to the best of their ability.

Swimming Counts! is as easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Water Safety (classroom session)

Classroom sessions will be interactive and include the following material:

  • Water Safety Rules and Pool Rules
  • Safe Entries and Exits and Know the Swimming Areas
  • Identifying Buoyant Objects
  • Reaching and Throwing Assists
  • Boat Safety and Boat Rules
  • Exposure to Heat and Exposure to Cold (hypothermia)
  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s) and Lifejackets
  • Emergency Medical System – EMS
  • Ice Safety/Rescue

2. Water Safety Skills (pool sessions)

Demonstrate and participate in:

  • Rules/ Entries
  • Reaching and throwing assists
  • Don PFD’s/ H.E.L.P. position
  • Entries wearing a PFD (side/front rolls)
  • Endurance Swim wearing a PFD
  • Surface support (treading water)
  • Ice Safety education

3. Water Swim Skills (pool sessions)

Participate in (beginner, intermediate and advanced):

  • Movement through water, submersion, rhythmic breathing
  • Floats and glides
  • Kicking techniques using an aid/without an aid
  • Introduction to new strokes
  • Review of strokes
  • Drills for all strokes
  • Endurance swims

Each student will receive a certificate of participation.

Water Safety Instructors will track students’ abilities and make a recommendation on which level the student should enroll in after completion of the program to continue to develop their swimming skills for life!

Preparing for the Pool

  • All students entering the pool will wear proper swim attire.
  • Lined gym shorts are acceptable as not all people own traditional bathing suits.
  • T-shirts may be permitted, if safe, for swimmers who may have issues with body image.
  • Lifeguard will use discretion about acceptability with consideration for culture, diversity and religion.
  • NO sweat pants or jeans.
  • NO undergarments only.
  • Towels must be brought by all students.
  • Lockers are available for $0.25 at all City of Winnipeg pools.
  • Eating is not recommended half an hour before swim time.
  • Do not have child attend swimming if they are feeling unwell, especially if they have an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting (within the past day) or have a cough.
  • Participants who experience incontinence must wear leak-proof swim pants or garments of similar nature.

* The pilot program is only currently available to the Winnipeg School Division. After evaluation of this exciting initiative, the City of Winnipeg will explore how this or similar opportunities may be available to other school divisions or organizations. For more information, contact 311.

Last update: May 31, 2019