Dive Right Into Swim Classes

Photography provided by the YMCA

The hot, muggy days of summer have hit Cincinnati hard – humidity levels are high and so is the need to escape the heat. Now is the time people flock to the nearest swimming pool or lake to cool off, relax, and have fun.

A swimming pool can be a great source of family fun and fitness. But, it’s important to make safety a priority to protect children and others in and around the water. While lifeguards keep a vigilant eye on the pool, it’s important to make sure you and your children are prepared and comfortable in the water.

Participants in YMCA swim lessons, taught by certified instructors, become more comfortable and secure around water as they learn about water safety and practice swimming skills. It’s never too late to learn how to swim. Classes are available for all ages. 

“Last year my grandson in Colorado wanted me to get into the pool with him, and I had to tell him I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to swim,” says 68-year-old Linda Martin from Finneytown. “Since I made sure my children could swim, I figured it was time for me to learn too.” In April 2014, she started swim lessons at the Powel Crosley, Jr. YMCA. “I thought my instructor was crazy when she told me to put my head underwater,” she says. “My instructor reassured me I would be fine...and I was.”

Children can begin swim lessons at the Y at six months, and go from learning how to blow bubbles to putting their face in the water and kicking. “These are water acclimation classes,” says M.E. Lyons YMCA swim instructor Maureen Ojdana. “For the young children, it’s important to get them used to the water. Classes are progressive and build upon the skills learned in each session.”

Learning to swim is a lot like learning how to ride a bike, says Kristine Schmidt, aquatic director at the R.C. Durr YMCA in Burlington, Kentucky. “Some children hop on a bike and naturally learn it, while others may struggle for months. That is how it is with swimming. Everyone works at his or her own pace.” 

Recently, 8-year-old Luke and his adapted swim teammates from the Gamble-Nippert YMCA participated in a Special Olympics swim meet. Two years ago, when Luke began taking swim lessons, he was scared to go anywhere near the water. Over time, he has become more and more confident and is now a great swimmer.

“Swimming is a great form of exercise,” adds Schmidt. “The Y offers water group exercise classes that are very popular helping people with joint issues and arthritis. It’s also a great option for everyone including pregnant women – especially those who work out avidly and are no longer comfortable going to the gym or doing land exercise classes. There’s no gravity in the water, so you have very low impact, and it’s really good exercise.” 

And, once you learn to swim, you can continue the sport individually, or try a competitive YMCA swim team, available for both kids and adults. For more information about swimming, visit the website MyY.org or call (513) 362-YMCA. You can also make a donation to the Y to help a child learn to swim. See you at the pool! 

For more information about YMCA of Greater Cincinnati swimming lessons, visit www.cincinnatiymca.org.