Whether you’re a toe dipper or a fish, YMCA Calgary offers lessons for everyone.
Being able to swim is a valuable life skill and a great way to have fun, get exercise, build confidence and develop friendships. Our programs help individuals of all ages and skill levels feel comfortable in the water while developing good technique and water safety awareness.
Dive in to learn about YMCA Calgary’s swimming programs and find the right fit for you or your family.
Find the Right Swim Level
Use this questionnaire to find the right level for your swimmer.
Preschool Parented (3 months – 3 years)
Introduce your little one to the fun of the swimming pool! Parents get in on these fun and engaging classes by participating with your child. You will learn how to be safe in and around the pool. This program will teach your infant/toddler to be more comfortable and confident in water and prepare them for independent swim lessons.
Children 2 years and under and anyone incontinent must wear both a swim diaper and waterproof pool pants. These items are available for purchase in our vending machines.
YMCA Preschool Swim Program (3 - 5 years)
Splash up some fun for your toddler/preschooler in this swim basics program. Your child will learn how to be safe and have fun in the water while learning foundational swimming skills. Bobbers will learn to be comfortable with their face in the water and basic movements while being supported. Floaters will perform unassisted bobs and learn the basics of floats and glides.
See your child thrive in the water. Your child will progress from the 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. Gliders will learn deep-water skills and perform a five-metre back swim. Divers will learn to do a 10-second surface support swim, a 10-metre front and back swim, and have lessons in boating safety.
Advance your preschooler's swimming skills. Your child will build confidence in the water all while learning more advanced skills. Surfers will perform kneeling dives, 15-metre front and back swims, and learn about ice safety. Jumpers will learn to surface-support for 45 seconds, perform 25-metre front and back swims and will be introduced to throwing assists.
YMCA Learn to Swim Program (6 - 14 years)
Introduce your child to the important life skill of swimming. Children will improve their body awareness and motor skills as they submerge, kick, roll and jump in the water. Otters will learn to swim underwater and glide on top. Seals will learn to use flutter kicking and rolling their bodies from side to side for streamlined movement through the water.
Have your child dive into improving swimming skills. This program is designed to increase your child's swimming distance up to 15 metres using common crawl strokes. Dolphins will coordinate arms, legs and breathing for smooth propulsion during front and back crawl. At the Swimmers level, participants will increase skills in front and back strokes, endurance and treading water.
YMCA Star Program (6 - 14 years)
After completing the Swimmer level, continue your journey to becoming a star swimmer here. In Star 1, you will learn to whip kick on your back, and will perform a 75-metre endurance swim. In Star 2, you will learn to whip kick on your front, eggbeater as surface support, and swim 100 metres. Optional activities provide opportunities to explore competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo and aquafit.
Thrive in the water! Star 3 swimmers will learn elementary backstroke and dolphin kicks and will do a 200-metre endurance swim. In Star 4, participants learn breaststroke and sidestroke, and will perform a 350-metre endurance swim. Optional activities provide opportunities to explore competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo and aquafit.
Advance your swimming skills! In this program, you will use skills learned in previous lessons and apply them in new ways. You will swim butterfly, throw a buoyant aid to a swimmer, create and teach a water game, and perform a 500-metre endurance swim. Star 6 also includes first aid, towing someone to safety, and demonstrating how to teach a skill.
You'll be the ultimate swimming star after this challenging level! Enhance your skills in this final level of YMCA's Star Leadership program. In this program, you will gain a deeper understanding of the roles of lifeguards and swim instructors by assisting them with their responsibilities. You will also learn first aid, how to teach others skills using effective feedback, and will perform a 12-minute 400-metre endurance swim.
Swim to Survive® is different than swimming lessons - and not a replacement for them. Swim to Survive® teaches the necessary skills to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Meeting the Canadian Swim to Survive® Standard is an important first step to being safe around water.
Adult Swim Program
Learn the basic swimming skills to become comfortable in the water. You will learn to safely enter and exit the pool, how to move through the water, and to float with and without assistance. Other skills such as breathing techniques, flutter kick and front and back swimming may be introduced depending on individual abilities.
Improve your swimming strokes and build on your skills. In this class, you will learn front and back crawl, treading water and whip kick. You'll also receive an orientation on deep water and will practice swimming greater distances. Participants should be able to continuously swim 25-50 meters of front and back crawl.
Build endurance while developing and improving swimming strokes. In addition to front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke, you'll get an introduction to sidestroke, butterfly and eggbeater. Different lifesaving skills may also be included. You must be able to swim 50 meters and be comfortable in deep water.
Need a little one-on-one practice to achieve your goals? Private lessons will help you quickly reach your goals and make you a stronger swimmer through personally tailored instruction. Both private and semi-private lessons are available for ages three years and older. See Member Services for details.