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Winter Enrolled Swimmers:


Need to report an upcoming absence or check your lesson details? Click link below.

Winter 2024
10 January - 17 March

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Winter lesson locations change each year depending on availability of pool space. Last year we operated solely at the Fernie Aquatic Center, though this was challenging due to frequent pool maintenance closures, private bookings, staff shortages 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). We have been requesting lane rental for 2 years, but have been denied due to there being "not much public swim space". We can operate only during public swim times "wherever there is space". but unfortunately, the only time the public can use the main pool outside school hours is Friday afternoons and Saturdays (and now Sundays), when it is so busy that we barely have a 5m strip available. Safety issues are a big concern too, such as balls being thrown at us, boats being launched at kids' heads, equipment being taken by the public and not being able to hear the kids speak due to screaming and loud music being played all day. Considering the sensory challenges of myself and many of the kids I teach, this has not been a suitable environment for us as it is largely not accessible and very overwhelming. While we will keep advocating to make change in our community to be more inclusive and accessible to all, I have decided this year to offer Winter lessons at the hotel pool instead, and we are so grateful to Canada's Best Value Inn for deciding to let us to continue into their busy ski season this year! We look forward to welcoming back intermediate and advanced swimmers in the Summer, and will be working on business development and growth over the frozen months too.

The hotel pool at Canada's Best Value Inn, Fernie (near Bridge Bistro) 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 (for reference that is 1 degree below the Leisure Pool/4 degrees above the Main 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-age swimmers (any ability), beginner or beginner/intermediate school-age swimmers, or more flexible for swimmers with disabilities or those who require a more sensory friendly space, and *NEW* beginner adult swimmers too this set.

Learning Options

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. May also include beginner adults by request.

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. May also include beginner adults by request.

Family Lessons one-on-two - for 2 siblings/cousins aged 1-4 years with a parent/guardian in the water. The benefit 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.

Babies & Toddler Classes (6 months to 3.5 years) with 6 littles and their parent/guardian in the water. Classes focus on building comfort and confidence, learning water safety and survival skills, along with sensory and developmentally appropriate swim 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.​

- *NEW* Babies Classes (6 months/able to sit up to around 18 months/starting to walk)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.

- Toddler Level 1 Classes (around 18 months/walking to around 2.5 years) - as above and is suitable for first timers, or nervous swimmers.

- Toddler Level 2 Classes (2.5 years to 3.5 years) is suitable for continuing swimmers (who have participated in our classes before, or a series of other swim 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.

Please note: If your swimmer is on the boarder of ages, you may choose which one is the best fit, or select both options on your form. Wednesday and Thursday Toddler classes will run according to demand and availability.

Adult Beginner Lessons will be one-on-one or one-on-two, depending on their ability and needs, and will be tailored to their learning style and individual goals. If you would prefer to sign up for 4 lessons rather than 8, we can aim to find another swimmer to split the classes with.


  • 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 and lesson sets, secure seasonal pool spaces, daily set up/set down, professional development training, business development, sick days, administration, bookkeeping, website development plus insurance and expenses on top.

  • Hotel pool usage fees are paid in advance along with registration, at $5 per swimmer, per lesson for privates/semi-privates/family lessons ($40 for the set) and $3,50 per swimmer, per lesson for babies and toddler classes ($28 for the set). No additional fees for guardians/adults.

  • 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 (x 8 lessons = $432) plus 5% tax, pool usage fees ($40) and relevant registration fee.

  • 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 (x 8 lessons = $256) plus 5% tax, pool usage fees ($40) and relevant registration fee. 

  • Family one-on-two lessons (1-4 years) include 2 beginner siblings/cousins and 1 parent/guardian. The cost is $32 per swimmer, per lesson (x 8 lessons = $256) plus 5% tax, pool usage fees ($40) and relevant registration fee.

  • Babies and Toddler Classes (6 months to 3.5 years) include 6 swimmers and their parent/guardian in the water. The cost is $18 per swimmer, per lesson (x 8 lessons = $144) plus 5% tax, plus pool usage fees ($28) and relevant registration fee.

  • Adult Beginner lessons same as private or semi-private rates above. 

  • 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 for new swimmers if you're able, then refunded upon approval/receipt). Please allow an additional $20 for invoicing time if possible. If your family is struggling to make ends meet at this time (like mine is), please see our Upcoming Lessons​ page for information about kids' sports grants that you can apply for. We hope to offer more subsidized options in the near future. 

​How to Pre-Register

  1. Pre-registration will open at 8.30pm on Thursday 2 November (closing at 10am the following morning), when three links will appear in the green box at the top of this web page - one for Babies & Toddlers classes, one for private/semi-private/family lessons, and one for adult 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.

  2. 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 Tuesday you will receive an email either offering you a lesson time, or letting you know you missed out this set.

  3. 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.

Prioritized Swimmers will receive a 24-hour boost to your submission time. This includes swimmers who are neurodivergent (Autistic, ADHD, trauma and more), have sensory processing challenges, other disabilities or medical challenges (diagnosed or awaiting assessment). This applies if it affects their ability to participate in other swim options available in our community, and/or they do not have their support needs accommodated there.


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

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