Kid with goggles swimming in UCalgary pool

Kids Swimming Programs

Swimming lessons for all ages and abilities

Kids and youth programs come with free parking included during the time of the sessions. 

As a Lifesaving Society training partner, the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre offers lessons for children as young as 4 months, all the way up to teens and adults. It's never to late to learn how to swim.

Kids' swimming lessons run on specific Saturdays in the fall, winter and spring. Pool temperature is increased to 84 degrees Fahrenheit to make it comfortable for our tiniest swimmers.

Girl swimming laps in UCalgary pool
Baby playing in UCalgary pool

New swim program FAQs

The Canadian Red Cross announced it is winding down its swim and lifeguard programming to direct more attention to surging humanitarian demands in other areas – such as disaster and pandemic response, opioid harm reduction and caregiving for seniors.

We are excited to continue our First Aid programs through the Red Cross and do not have plans to switch organizations.

Swim For Life Parent & Tot (4-36 months)

Levels progress in this order: Parent & Tot 1 > Parent and Tot 2 > Parent & Tot 3

Parent and Tot 1

Parents and babies will explore the water together under the watchful eyes of their instructor. They will learn how to safely enter and exit the water and work on getting ready to discover the water safely. Parents will learn how to safely support their child while they play. This program is for babies 4-12 months.

Register for Parent and Tot 1

Parent and Tot 2

Instructors will lead sessions to help parents with children learn basic water safety skills in a welcoming environment. Parents are taught how to support their child with assisted entries and exits into water and support them in learning to float and kick. They can celebrate together when the child can get their face wet and blow bubbles for the first time. This program is for children 12-24 months.

Register for Parent and Tot 2

Parent and Tot 3

Parents will work towards supporting their toddlers in becoming more independent in the water. Getting in, getting out, going under, and floating, parents and toddlers will be introduced to different iterations of these fundamental skills. This program is for children 2-3 years.

Register for Parent and Tot 3

Swim For Life Preschool (3-5 years)

Levels progress in this order: Preschool 1 > Preschool 2 > Preschool 3 > Preschool 4 > Preschool 5

Preschool 1

Preschoolers will be assisted by their instructor when learning to enter and exit water safely, jump into chest deep water, and put their faces in the water to blow bubbles. Becoming comfortable with floats and glides and moving safely in shallow water while wearing lifejackets will help them gain confidence with their water skills. This program is for children 3-5 years.

Register for Preschool 1

Preschool 2

Preschoolers will work on becoming more independent with their water skills. Some of these skills include jumping into chest-deep water, exhaling under water, and floating/gliding with various buoyant aids. They will be introduced to lateral rollovers and practice their flutter kick on their backs. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 1.

Register for Preschool 2

Preschool 3

Preschoolers will kick and glide their way through the water on their fronts and backs. They will work on retrieving objects from the bottom in water that is waist deep, and work towards mastering their floats, rollovers, glides and kicks. In this level they work their way into deeper water for side entries and jumping in with their lifejackets on. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 2.

Register for Preschool 3

Preschool 4

Preschoolers will gain some independence in deep water. They will practice jumping into deeper water (including getting out by themselves), sideways entries, and opening their eyes underwater. These swimmers in training will work on completing 5m of front crawl in their lifejackets and work on their ability to tread water. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 3.

Register for Preschool 4

Preschool 5

Preschoolers will work towards achieving important swimming milestones. They will work on being able to support themselves treading in deep water for 10 seconds and complete 5m swims with front and back crawl. Wearing a lifejacket, they will practice forward roll entries into deep water, learn to whip kick in a vertical position, and be introduced to interval training. This program is for children 3-5 years who have completed Preschool 4.

Register for Preschool 5

Swim For Life Swimmer (6 years+)

Swimmer 1

Building the foundation of swimming skill development beginner swimmers will gain confidence in the water as they learn safe entries into various depths of water, treading water in a lifejacket, opening their eyes underwater, and breath control. Once they have learned their floats, rollovers, glides, and kicks from front to back, they will front crawl their way into the next level. This program is for children 6-12 years.

Register for Swimmer 1

Swimmer 2

Swimmers will gain comfort in deeper water by jumping in, learning their sideways entry, and treading water without a lifejacket. Swimmers will be challenged by the introduction of various skills including, flutter kick on their front, back and side, vertical whip kick with an aid, and swimming front crawl and back crawl for 10m. Swimmers will get to work on their Swim to Survive skills and be introduced to interval training. This program is for children 6-12 years who have completed Swimmer 1.

Register for Swimmer 2

Swimmer 3

Swimmers will make a splash with their kneeling dives and forward roll entries. Swimmers will be challenged with the introduction to more difficult (but fun) skills such as handstands in shallow water and in front somersaults (in water). Increased time and distance components are incorporated for skills learned such as flutter kick on front and back, whip kick on back, front and back crawl, and interval training. This program is for children 6-12 years who have completed Swimmer 2.

Register for Swimmer 3

Swimmer 4

Swimmers will move from a beginner to intermediate swimming level. Swimmers will complete standing dives, tread water for 1 minute, and work towards being able to swim underwater for 5m. Swimmers will achieve the Swim to Survive standard by being able to roll into deep water, tread for 1 minute, and swim 50m. In addition to improving their front crawl, back crawl, and whip kick, swimmers will be introduced to breaststroke. This program is for children 6-12 years who have completed Swimmer 3.

Register for Swimmer 4

Swimmer 5

Swimmers will be challenged with a whole new set of skills; shallow dives, tuck jumps (cannonball entries), eggbeater kick, and backwards somersaults (in water). Technique and endurance will also receive greater focus as swimmers will need to complete longer distance swims and interval training sessions for all their strokes. This program is for children 6-12 years who have completed Swimmer 4.

Register for Swimmer 5

Swimmer 6

As the final level in the Swimmer program, swimmers will build up their advaced skill set. Swimmers will work towards mastering stride entries, compact jumps, and lifesaving kicks. They will also refine their strokes to increase their swimming strength, power, and endurance - critical for success in the 300m workout required to complete the level. This program is for children 6-12 years who have completed Swimmer 5.

Register for Swimmer 6

Canadian Swim Patrol (6 years+)

The Canadian Swim Patrol program provides enriched training for those who are ready to go beyond learn-to-swim. Swim Patrol has three levels: Rookie, Ranger, and Star. These programs continue to develop participants’ swim strokes and provide the skill foundation that prepares them for success in the Society’s Bronze Medal awards. Each level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program has three modules: Water Proficiency, First Aid, and Recognition & Rescue.

Rookie Patrol

Develops individual fitness levels to meet a timed 100m swim and 350m workout. Water proficiency skills include: swims with clothes, ready position, foot-first and head-first surface dives. Demonstrating an ability to conduct a primary assessment and initiating EMS are included as first aid skills. Victim recognition and throwing assists are other key elements of the program.

Register for Rookie Patrol

Ranger Patrol

Enhances capability in the water, including stride entry, underwater forward and backward somersaults, lifesaving eggbeater kick and increased fitness levels to meet a 200m timed swim. Rescue skills involve an increased skill level in first aid basics, victim recognition and non-contact rescues.

Register for Ranger Patrol

Star Patrol

An excellent preparation for the Bronze Star award, Star Patrol demands good physical conditioning and lifesaving judgment. Participants develop lifesaving and first aid skills; further refine front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke (100m each); and complete 600m workouts and for 300m timed swims.

Register for Star Patrol

Teen Aquatics

Fitness Swimmer (13-17)

This program is for swimmers 13 years and older who want to improve their overall physical fitness in the water. Fitness Swimmer provides a structured approach based on training principles and practices including interval training. Participants set their own goals. There are no levels in Fitness Swimmer. Certified instructors will work with swimmers to help them improve their strokes and achieve their fitness goals.

Register for Fitness Swimmer

Private Swimming Programs

Private Swimming Lessons

Working with a certified swim instructor, swimmers can work on skills in the Lifesaving Society Swim For Life program. This one-on-one experience can be adapted to a child’s individual skills and abilities.

Register for Private Swimming Lessons