Red Cross Swim Kids

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10-level program for children 6 to 12 years of age

Help your child develop a healthy lifestyle through swimming. Your child will learn to swim and stay safe in a fun environment that promotes a personal best and celebrates individual success.

The 10 levels allow for solid progression. Children learn competitive and survival strokes and build distance and speed, while focusing on making safe decisions in, on and around the water.

In each level, participants are evaluated based on performance criteria and advance to the next level only once all criteria has been successfully met.

Swimmers receive an orientation to water and the pool area and work on floats, glides and kicks. Swimmers build their endurance by working on the 5 metres front swim.

Swimmers work on propulsion skills to move through the water and to remain at the surface. Swimmers work on the front swim (5m) and learn about deep-water activities and proper use of a lifejacket/Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Fitness activities include the 10m flutter kick and a 10 metres distance swim.

This level provides an introduction to diving and teaches swimmers how to make wise choices about where and when to swim. Endurance is achieved by building strength in the flutter kick and a 15 metres swim.

This level introduces the front crawl (10 metres) and back swim with shoulder roll (15 metres). Swimmers work on kneeling dives, surface support (45 seconds, deep water) and developing a greater sense of self-safety by understanding their own limits. Endurance is built through a 25 metres swim. Upon completion of 25 metres, swimmers are eligible to register as part of Canada’s Swim Team through

This level introduces the back crawl (15 metres), sculling skills, whip kick on the back, stride dives and treading water. Front crawl increases to 15m. An introduction to safe boating skills is also included. Endurance is developed through a 50 metres swim.

This level refines front crawl with a focus on hand entry and breathing (25 metres), back crawl with a focus on arm positions and body roll (25 metres) back crawl with a focus on arm positions and body roll (25 metres), and introduces elementary backstroke (15 metres), safety on ice, and rescue of others with throwing assists. Swimmers demonstrate the front dive and their ability to tread water in deep water for 1.5 minutes. Endurance through dolphin kick and a 75 metres swim.

This level builds skills and endurance for the front crawl (50 metres), back crawl (50 metres) and elementary backstroke (25 metres) and introduces whip kick on the front. Swimmers learn about airway and breathing obstructions, reach assisits and stride entry. Swimming endurance is increased to a 150 metres swim.

This level is an introduction to breast stroke (15 metres), and feet-first surface dives. Swimmers learn about the dangers of open water, hypothermia and the performance of rescue breathing on children and adults, and standing shallow dives. Swimmers participate in timed treading water activities using the eggbeater skill for 3 minutes to improve their ability to remain at the surface in the event of an unexpected fall into water. Endurance is built on a 300 metres swim. Front crawl and back crawl distances are increased to 75 metres each.

This level refines the front crawl (100 metres), back crawl (100 metres), elementary backstroke (50 metres) and breaststroke (25 metres), encouraging swimmers to combine different kicks for fitness (3 minutes). They also work on head-first surface dives and learn about wise choices, peer influences and self-rescue from ice. Endurance is built through a 400 metres swim.

This level has a final assessment of the strokes for technique and distance (front crawl 100 metres, back crawl 100 metres, elementary backstroke 50 metres, breast stroke 50 metres and sidestroke 25 metres). Swimmers learn about sun safety, rescue of others from the ice, and head-first and feet-first surface dives. Endurance is built using the dolphin kick (vertical) and a 500 metres swim.

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