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Mountain Kids Swim Lessons' vision is for all children across Canada, to learn to swim well, without barriers to accessibility.

Our mission is to provide fun, kind and quality Swim Lessons to all kids of the Kootenays, that build trust, self-confidence and a connection with the water and the outdoors.

Why are Swim Lessons so important?

According to the Lifesaving Society and Injury Research BC:

  • Drowning is a leading cause of death for children and near-drowning can result in lengthy hospital stays and can have life-long effects such as brain damage. On average in BC, there are 38 near-drowning cases that resulted in an acute hospitalization and 76 drowning deaths per year.

  • 34% occurred in a lake or pond. 

  • 32% while swimming and 12% while walking or playing near the water.

  • Young children are vulnerable to drowning in artificial bodies of water, including bathtubs and pools, and can drown in as little as 1 inch of water in just a few seconds.

  • In over 90% of drowning deaths in children, they were unsupervised or the supervisor was distracted.

Mountain Kids Swim Lessons wants every child to have the opportunity to learn how to confidently take action in an emergency, and return to safety.

In my experience, just last year alone, over 70% of the kids I taught did not know how to swim more than 2 meters independently, float on their back, or tread water for more than 10 seconds. Any one of these skills could buy more precious time to self rescue or call out for help, if they accidently fell into the water off a boat or dock, or are swimming or playing near the water without supervision, and find themselves in trouble.

Every single lesson, with every single swimmer, I ask them spontaneously "I want you to pretend you just fell off a dock into deep water. What can you do?" Then we practice:

  • Floating on their back in deep water (knowing they can breathe and call out for help)

  • Treading water for as long as they can (aiming for at least 30-60 seconds)

  • Pushing off the bottom towards shore (useful when kids go just a little too deep to stand)

  • Swimming to shore (using low energy movement)

I believe this will make more of a difference than solely teaching kids not to go in the water alone. As they get older, they will inadvertently end up swimming alone with friends, and this way they will know what to do to keep themselves safe and return to shore.

Financial challenges this year?

Mountain Kids Swim Lessons wants to support our community and aims to make quality swim lessons accessible to as many families as possible. If financial constraints are restricting your participation, please see the following options that may be of assistance:

  • Jumpstart Individual Child Funding for Sports - may be an option for your children 4 years and over. Click on the link to apply for a grant directly to request funding towards your lessons. Mountain Kids Swim Lessons will do what we can to fit their requirements and provide the paperwork they need.

  • Emily Brydon Youth Foundation - may be another option for youth in the Elk Valley (Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford). Click on the link to complete your application form. Let us know if Mountain Kids Swim Lessons can provide any assistance to complete this.

  • Mountain Kids Swim Lessons will also be offering 4 reduced price places for a "Private Set of 4 Lessons" to support families that may otherwise not be able to participate due to financial hardship. Please email Sarah at mountainkids.swimlessons@gmail.com to discuss this  further.

  • Other options? Please let us know if you discover any other funding options for kids in the Kootenays.