YMCA Calgary > Registered Programs > Aquatics


Programs vary by location. For a complete description of programs, including class times and fees, please view our current program guides.

Aquatics – Adult

Water Polo Workshops
Age:8Y and up
Try something new in the pool! Aquatic workshops are designed to give an introduction to an aquatic activity in a fun and safe environment.

Adult – Level 1 – learning to Swim
Age:12Y and up
Learn the basic skills to be comfortable in the water. Find out how to safely enter and exit the water, jog and move through the water. You’ll also learn how to float with and without assistance. Other skills such as breathing techniques, flutter kick and front and back swimming may be introduced depending on participant’s abilities.

Adult – Level 2 – Swimming Strokes and Skills
Improve your swimming strokes and build on your skills. This adult class features front and back crawl, treading water and whip kick. You’ll also get a deep water orientation and practice swimming greater distances, among many other skills.

Adult Level 3 – Stroke Improvement
Age:12Y and up
Build endurance while developing and improving swimming strokes. You’ll get an introduction to sidestroke, butterfly and eggbeater. Various lifesaving skills may also be included. Must be able to swim 50 meters and be comfortable in deep water.

Swim Fit
Age:12Y and up
Improve your strokes and fitness through a variety of aquatic fitness activities. Participants should feel comfortable in the water and be able to swim a minimum of 50 metres continuously.

Aqua BootCamp
Age:12Y and up
Be kind to your joints while taking your water workout to a new level of intensity. Your muscular strength and endurance will grow as you utilize the drag-resistance equipment. This equipment was designed by an injured Navy Seal to maintain a high level of fitness during his rehabilitation; it increases the amount of force required to move through the water. Your body will thrive as you
enjoy a fun and intense workout.

Deep Water Tethered Run
Age:12Y and up
Athletes of all types can attain great cross-training benefits from Deep Water Running. A great way to work on your form and fitness while being kind to your joints, this class will also allow you to maintain fitness while recovering from injury.

Masters Swim Program
Age:18Y and up
Cover the four competitive swim skills – front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke and butterfly in a swim club environment. The workouts vary in distance and intensity. You should be able to swim 200 metres continuously before participating in this class.

Triathlon Swim Training
Age:12Y and up
Get the fundamental skills needed for the swimming component of a triathlon. This program focuses on training techniques to improve your front crawl, and build speed and endurance.

Aquatics Leadership

Junior Lifeguard Club
Age:10Y – 15Y
Discover what it takes to be a lifeguard. This program introduces you to lifesaving techniques and first aid skills. You’ll also gain experience in accident prevention and dealing with the public. Participants must be able to swim 50 metres and tread water for one minute.

Bronze Star
Age:10Y and up
Gain the confidence and skills you need to perform low risk rescues. Increase your understanding of lifesaving skills and personal water safety while developing individual and group decision making abilities. This program also prepares you for the Bronze Medallion course. Before taking Bronze Star, we recommend you complete the Canadian Star Patrol program.

Bronze Medallion
Age:10Y and up
Enhance your understanding of lifesaving principles and skills. Learn tows, carries, release methods, victim assessment and emergency care through this 25-hour program. The manual is included in the course fee. To participate, you must be at least 10 years old and have successfully completed the Bronze Star award, or be 13 years or older and be able to swim. The course requires a mandatory 100% attendance to complete.

Bronze Cross
Age:10Y and up
Eager to advance your lifesaving training? This 20-hour program teaches you the difference between lifesaving and lifeguarding, giving you direction on how to safely supervise in an aquatic facility. This course covers emergency procedures, injury assessment and spinal injury rescue. Prerequisite: completion of the Bronze Medallion Award. This course requires 100% attendance and participation to complete.

National Lifeguard
Age:16Y and up
Advance your YMCA aquatic leadership to a peak level. This 40-hour program builds on the skills, knowledge and values taught in Lifesaving awards. To participate in this program you need to have completed the Bronze Cross Award and Standard First Aid with CPR Level C. The manual is included in the course fee. This course requires 100% attendance and participation in order to complete the core component.

National Lifeguard – Recert
Age:16Y and up
Continue to be certified in one of the top levels of lifeguarding and be able to work in any pool across Canada. This 4 hour recertification covers all the skills, knowledge and values taught in the National Lifeguard Service – Pool Option Course. To enroll in this course you must hold a National Lifeguard Service card current within the past five years. This course requires 100% participation in order to complete the components of this course.

Standard First Aid – Original
Age:12Y and up
Learn to identify an illness or injury as a medical emergency. As a first responder, discover and practice simple techniques to care for a casualty. After completing this 16-hour course, you will be certified in Standard First Aid and CPR Basic Rescuer Level C. This course is approved by Alberta Occupational Health & Safety.

Aquatics – Preschool

L’il Dippers
Age:3M – 5Y
Introduce your little one to the aquatic environment with Splashers, Bubblers, and Bobbers. Parents will accompany their child in the water as instructors lead classes through a variety of activities designed to grow and develop rudimentary swim skills and prepare them for independent swim lessons.

Age:3Y – 5Y
Begin your child’s love of the water with Bobbers and Floaters. In this fun and engaging class, participants will be introduced to basic swim skills such as bobbing, floating and gliding. Instructors will work with participants to grow their comfort and confidence to thrive in the aquatic environment.

Age:3Y – 5Y
Watch your child thrive in the water as their swimming abilities progress from basic skills learned in Bobbers and Floaters. Participants will be introduced to front and back swims, as well as a variety of deep water skills.

Age:3Y – 5Y
Excite your child’s love for the water and have them thrive in Surfer, the fifth level in the YMCA National L’il Dippers program series. This course is for children ages 3 to 5. This course explores a range of swimming skills that will enable each child to grow and gain confidence in the water. As confidence and abilities develop skills such as, breathing techniques, front swim, back swim, surface support and kneeling dives will be introduced. Children are encouraged to build positive relationships and a sense of belonging while working on fundamental swimming skills.

Age:3Y – 5Y
Have fun while taking part in Dippers, the sixth and final level in the YMCA National L’il Dippers program series. This course is for ages 3 to 5. Students will thrive and continue to grow as they work through skills focusing on surface support, front and back swims, sculling, and surface dives. Students will learn and have fun while taking part in aquatic activities and games encouraging positive relationships between classmates. This course explores the foundations of swimming and will aid in leading each student into our Learn to Swim Program.

Aquatics – Youth

Age:6Y – 17Y
Otter: Thrive in an aquatic environment as you have fun in Otter! Otter is the first level in the YMCA National Learn to Swim program which encourages growth and development as one learns fundamental swimming skills. This course is for ages 6 and up. This level introduces skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. Instructors strive to have each participant feel a sense of belonging by introducing new, basic swim skills and increasing comfort, confidence and endurance. After completing this level, children six years and up will be able to perform a variety of swim skills in shallow and deep water, including the basics of the front crawl. Seal: Have your child learn and grow as they further their swimming abilities in Seal! Seal is the second level in the YMCA National Learn to Swim Program for ages 6 and up. Children will have fun and build positive relationships as they expand their swimming skills and learn about safety in the pool. Watch your child thrive and grow as they gain confidence in deep water, work on their rhythmic breathing and develop their front and back swims.

Learn to Swim – Dolphin/Swimmer
Age:6Y – 17Y
Dive into aquatics with the Dolphin program, designed to encourage your child to swim distances as great as 15m using common crawl strokes. Focusing on aquatic skills, Dolphin is a program aimed at fostering a child’s ability to maintain surface tension giving them greater confidence is deeper water. Instructors work to make each participant thrive by introducing new, basic swim skills and increasing comfort, confidence and endurance.The Swimmer program is designed to expand a child’s ability to swim from 15m to 25m using common crawl strokes, encouraging participants to grow as aquatic athletes. This is the last of the learn to swim lessons, and is meant to test your child’s ability to ensure they are ready to pass into the higher level youth programs. It introduces diving, and deep water recovery activities to ensure that the youth are comfortable in all areas of a standard pool.

Star Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Age:6Y – 17Y
Star 1,2 Grow in the aquatic environment.  The Star levels 1 & 2 are the first in our series of advanced youth programs.  At this level a series of new techniques used by lifeguards and other aquatic communities are introduced including breaststroke, sculling, and disorienting dives.  The new strokes and techniques will encourage leadership skills in any child.  The program also has a workout element that encourages a child to view swimming as both workout and play.  Star level 1 & 2 are a good base for any child hoping to excel in aquatic sport.

Star 3, 4 Thrive in the aquatic environment.   The Stars 3 & 4 program will enhance your swimming skills focusing on stroke development.  In this class you will grow as a swimmer, building essential skills for your future.  You will be introduced to side stroke while continuing to improve on your elementary backstroke and breaststroke.  Throughout your program you will explore other aquatic activities including water polo, aquatic fitness, and synchronized swimming.

Star Leadership 5, 6 Watch your aquatic skills grow in the YMCA's Star Leadership Program.  In Star Leadership 5 & 6 you will thrive with the knowledge gained in previous lessons, and begin to apply them in new ways.  You will continue to hone your swimming strokes, while using them to gain proficiency in rescue techniques.  During your lessons you will have the opportunity to challenge yourself by learning advanced strokes, water polo skills, and synchronized swimming techniques.

Star Leadership 7 Enhance your skills in Star Leadership 7.  This is the final level in the YMCA's Star Leadership Program.  Throughout this course you will gain a deeper understanding of the roles of lifeguards and swim instructors by assisting them with their responsibilities.  You will learn first aid skills, and grow your instructing skills by teaching your peers.  The Star 7 program will ensure you thrive in future aquatics programming by providing you with a solid foundation for further training.

Synchronized Swimming
Age:6Y – 17Y
Refine and enhance your synchronized swimming skills. Work on mastering fundamentals such as sculling, breathing, basic positions and basic somersaults. Tub, marlin, somersaults and other advanced positions will also be introduced. Please note: you must be able to swim 25 metres and tread water for 30 seconds.

Youth Rec Swim Program
Age:6Y – 17Y
Have fun learning competitive swimming skills in a recreational environment. Find out how to enter the water, take-off, position your body, use your arms, and turn to maximize your speed and endurance when swimming competitive strokes like front crawl, breaststroke, back crawl and butterfly. You must be able to swim 25 metres and tread water for 30 seconds in order to participate in this program.

Teen Swim 101
Age:10Y – 17Y
Work on your swimming strokes and build your skills. This class features front and back crawl, treading water and whip kick. You’ll also get a deep water orientation and practice swimming greater distances, among many other skills.

H2O Extreme
Age:8Y – 14Y
H20 Extreme is a structured drop in program for pre-teens on Friday nights! Kids will thrive in this water experience, growing water skills with activities such as water polo, under water hockey, snorkelling, underwater obstacle courses and much more. Must be able to swim 25 m and tread water for 1 minute. Join us weekly or for the full 14 week session.

Private Swim Lessons

A great way to get more out of your swimming experience is to take a private or semi-private lesson. Our highly-regarded aquatics staff can work with you one-on-one or in a semi-private setting to help you get the most of our each swimming stroke and increase your power. Open to all ages.

Learn steps to improve all aspects of your technique. In a private or semi-private lesson, the curriculum is up to you! Let us know what you would like to improve and leave the rest up to us! Your instructor will customize the lesson to your exact desire. Items to work on may include:

Skill assessment

Comfort in the water

Triathlon training

Strengthening strokes

Competitive training

Learning to swim

Stroke improvement

Stretching and warm-ups

Drill training

Self rescue techniques

Flip turns

Diving techniques

Lessons are offered at all branches during varied times (pool space permitting). Contact or drop-by any branch for more information. Prices vary and are subject to change.


Private (4 classes)

Semi-Private (4 classes)

YMCA Member






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