20 September to 14 November
Fall swim lessons will be running exclusively at the hotel pool in Canada's Best Value Inn, Fernie (near Bridge Bistro). This means plenty of options for infants and beginner swimmers for this set. Unfortunately, the Spring set at the Fernie Aquatic Center saw more than half of our lessons cancelled and moved to the hotel pool due to maintenance closures, private bookings and last-minute schedule changes without any notifications, and this was with a permit and after being requested by them to run parent and tot lessons there. With your support, I will continue to work hard for a better agreement to secure lane rental (and another Instructor!) to bring back options there in the Winter set (starting early January), as well as considering the addition of much requested adult swim lessons too. We also plan to run an intensive, twice a week set during the 4 weeks before Christmas, rather than trying to find space during the busy Christmas school break (location TBC).
This hotel pool in Fernie is similar to the size of a backyard pool, approximately 8m x 4m (3.5-5.5 feet deep) and heated up to around 32 degrees Celsius (just below to the Leisure Pool at Fernie Aquatic Center). It is mostly private, though occasionally hotel guests may use the pool or hot tub too. There are deck chairs for viewing, two change rooms with showers, and parking right outside the door. Parents (and siblings) can use the hot tub during lesson time too, or for a warm up after lessons. It is suitable for infant and preschool swimmers (any ability), beginner school-age swimmers (Swimmer 1 or 2 equivalent), or more flexible for swimmers with disabilities or those who require a more sensory friendly space.
Lessons take a child led approach, working at each swimmers' own pace, using a variety of equipment, games and activities to build comfort, confidence and competence in the water. Lessons are fun, calm, encouraging, and swimmers progress on to new skills as soon as they are ready, starting with survival skills first and foremost.
Private one-on-one lessons (by request only) - only for swimmers with disabilities at this time. All abilities are welcome and can be tailored to suit each swimmers' needs and learning preferences.
Semi-Private one-on-two lessons (our standard) - for 2 swimmers of similar age and ability. Experience has shown that most swimmers enjoy having a peer to learn with, and pairing with a close match in ability can really help drive progress and build confidence. A lot of time and consideration is taken when selecting a good match for your swimmer.
*NEW* Family Lesson one-on-two - for 2 beginner siblings/cousins aged 1-4 years with a guardian. This Fall we will be introducing the option to register for a semi-private swim lesson that includes your Instructor, your 2 kids, and you! The benefits of this option is that you can have both your kids in the water at the same time, rather than needing 2 adults (one per swimmer) for our Toddler classes, or trying to book back-to-back Toddler classes for your 1-3 year old and a semi-private for your 3-4 year old. Additionally, since you will be in the water providing alternating support for your swimmers, I will also be taking the time to teach YOU how to teach your kids in the water. Please note: If your 3-4 year old swimmer is much more advanced than your 1-2 year old, we would recommend booking them separately.
Toddler Classes with 6 littles and their guardians. This set will include a first timers option (Level 1) for 1-3 year olds and a continuers option (Level 2) for 2-4 year olds. Both these classes focus on building comfort and confidence, along with sensory and developmentally appropriate skills to introduce little ones to the love of water. They also aim to equip caregivers (no matter their own swim ability) with skills and routines to take with them to continue spending time in the water with their infants outside of lesson time too. Level 1 is suitable for first timers, as well as more nervous littles - we take a play-based approach to learning a variety of foundational swimming skills including water acclimation, kicking and paddling, floating, breath control and safe entries/exits. Level 2 is suitable for continuing swimmers (who have participated in our classes before, or a series of other classes) as well as more confident littles - we still take a play-based approach (as that's how little brains learn) and continue to advance foundational skills, but there will be a stronger focus on survival swimming skills such as flip-and-float and swim-float-swim sequences, which includes breath control for going underwater, jumping in and returning to the edge and first independent swims.
There is a non-refundable registration fee ($20 first child, $15 second child, $10 third child), which is put towards the immense time it takes for this solo human to plan and complete registration, plan lessons, secure seasonal pool spaces, daily set up/set down, professional development, sick days, administration, bookkeeping, website development and more.
Hotel pool usage fees are paid in advance along with registration, at $5 per swimmer, per lesson for privates/semi-privates/family lessons ($35 for the set) and $3,50 per swimmer, per lesson for toddler classes ($24.50 for the set). No additional fees for guardians/adults.
Semi-Private one-on-two lessons (3 years+) include 2 swimmers of similar age and ability (either book with a sibling/friend, or request a match). The cost is $32 per swimmer, per lesson (+ 5% GST = $235.20) plus pool usage fees ($35) and relevant registration fee.
Family one-on-two lessons (1-4 years) include 2 beginner siblings/cousins and 1 guardian. The cost is $32 per swimmer, per lesson (+ 5% GST = $235.20) plus pool usage fees ($35) and relevant registration fee.
Private one-on-one lessons (3 years +) are only available by request, such as for swimmers with diverse learning needs, high risk behaviors, or disabilities. The cost is $54 per lesson (+ 5% GST = $396.90) plus pool usage fees ($35) and relevant registration fee.
Toddler Classes Level 1 and 2 (1-4 years) include 6 swimmers and their parent/guardian. The cost is $18 per swimmer, per lesson (+ 5% GST = $132.30) plus pool usage fees ($24.50) and relevant registration fee.
Funding Options. If your swimmer has funding for homeschooling physical education, e-Streams, SelfDesign, disability funding (such as BC Autism funding) or similar, please let me know and we can arrange direct invoicing and billing (paid upfront if you're able, then refunded upon approval/receipt).
How to Pre-Register
Pre-registration will open at 8pm on Monday 21st August, when two links will appear in the green box at the top of this web page - one for Toddler classes, and one for private/semi/family lessons. This will take you to a Google form to fill out, which takes 2-4 minutes to complete (and will likely book out within 10 minutes or less). Please see Terms and Conditions before pre-registering. Pre-registration will close at 10am Wednesday 23rd August. Waitlisters must still pre-register so they can select their availability for the new schedule. You are welcome to pre-register for both the Toddler classes and semi-privates/family lessons to increase your chances if you feel that either would be suitable (please do semi-privates form first).
After you complete your pre-registration form, your details will be added into my tetris-game-of-color-coded-excel-spreadsheets to prioritize swimmers, match swimmers, and place in their availability (back-to-back siblings if possible). By the end of the weekend you will receive an email either offering you a lesson time, or letting you know you missed out this set.
If you are offered a lesson time, you will receive a link to our Jackrabbit Swim booking site, where you can complete your family registration (or log back in), enroll into your lesson time, complete waivers/policies and send e-transfer payment. This must be completed within 24 hours to secure your lesson booking - NO EXCEPTIONS this time please, as there will be a short turnaround before lessons start.
Prioritized Swimmers & Waitlist: If you signed up to the Fall waitlist, please pre-register at the same time (so you can select your availability for the new schedule) and you will receive a 24-hour boost to your submission time. As usual, this will also apply to swimmers with disabilities*, even if you did not get the chance to join the waitlist before it closed. *This includes swimmers who are neurodivergent, have sensory processing challenges, or other medical challenges (diagnosed or awaiting assessment), who are too often not included or accommodated in traditional lessons.
Why Pre-registration? The reason for pre-registration is that it allows for siblings to be placed back-to-back, allows single swimmers to be matched with another swimmer of similar age and ability, with the same availability, and allows prioritized swimmers (who often have no other accessible options) to have a chance to participate too. There is huge benefit from having a good match, as it often results in a more fun experience, encourages swimmers to challenge themselves more, creates faster progress, and helps to build confidence too. The final reason is that some families have very limited availability, or are travelling from the South Country, so I try my best to accommodate those who would normally miss out on swim lessons for this reason.
Who can participate? Swimmers 3 years+ can participate in private or semi-private lessons, preferably who are confident enough to leave the clutches of their parent/guardian already, though parents/guardians can stick around if need be. Swimmers who are too often left without suitable options to meet their needs are especially welcome to join, including neurodivergent swimmers, swimmers with disabilities or delays (diagnosed or awaiting assessment), high risk swimmers, Indigenous swimmers, and 2SLGBTQIA+ swimmers. For example, studies show that Autistic children are up to 160 times more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers, so it is important that we as a community support those who are most vulnerable and in need of swim lessons right away.
Looking for a Match? You can sign up 2 swimmers together (siblings, friends, cousins) of similar age and ability, or you can sign up as a single and be matched with another single. If you are asking family or friends to find a match for your swimmers, please keep in mind that anything more than a 2 year age gap will usually result in a different ability.
Any questions? After checking this page for your answers first, please email any questions to Sarah at