The Ottawa Athletic Club, located on Lancaster Road in the east of the city, has decided to do its part to curb the high number of drownings that occurred this summer in the province.
"We are a family club and there are children here all the time. We also have our own children. We are concerned that not only do children not learn to swim but they do not know the safety rules around pools and lakes. We want everyone to have the chance to be exposed to this," said Katelyn Barten, swimming director with the club.
The courses will be offered from September 6 to October 3. Approximately 150 spots are currently available and registration starts now.
"The swim course will not replace the importance of being in the water with the children but those who know the basics will have a better chance of avoiding accidents," says Barten.
"The swimming courses are much more than learning to swim. Teaching children to swim at a young age can increase their confidence, reduce their fear of water, increase water safety and improve their fitness, "she added.
The course will include an assessment of swimming capabilities and a group lesson of 30-40 minutes of supervised swimming. Courses for preschool children (3-6 years) will take place on Saturdays from 11am to noon or Sundays from 10am to 11am while those for children 6-14 years will be held Saturday from 10am to 11am or Sunday from 9am to 10am. Sundays from 11am to noon will be reserved for adolescents and adults. Those interested can register at 613 523-4024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional courses could be offered according to demand.