From Guppies to Swimmers!

Thanks to the many instructors and small class sizes, all participants receive personalized instruction. (Photo by Tim Butler)

Terese Butler

On April 10 of this year, a number of SaddleBrooke residents were met at the DesertView pool by the SaddleBrooke Swim Club’s Adult-Learn-To-Swim (ALTS) instructors to begin their journeys to becoming confident swimmers. Some entered the pool with excitement and some with trepidation, but all were there with the desire to learn to swim!

During the next two weeks, the pool was filled with laughter, encouragement, and smiles as our participants learned new skills. By the time our program was completed, all swimmers could tread water, jump into the deep end of the pool and exit safely, and swim freestyle, sidestroke and backstroke! Some of our students even learned how to swim breaststroke. During the course, all of our swimmers were introduced to new swim equipment, what seasoned swimmers call their “pool toys,” which included paddles, fins, kickboards, and snorkels. Thanks to a grant that the Swim Club received from the United States Master Swimmers (USMS) organization, each student started the class with a free pair of goggles and a swim cap. Those who decided that they liked a snorkel for drills also received a free snorkel.

For those of us who teach the class, we are so excited when our participants reach a milestone for themselves. Participant Sandy Jones explained it this way: “I came into class as a guppy and left a swimmer! The best six hours of instruction. Take this class—you will love it!”

The ALTS program was developed by the USMS organization to promote water safety for adults. A number of Swim Club members have gone through the USMS training program to become certified ALTS instructors. Thanks to the number of instructors that the Swim Club has, we are able to offer personalized training, which allows our participants to progress at the pace that is comfortable for them. The course is offered twice a year, and the next session is scheduled to begin on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. If you would like more information, please contact Terese Butler at [email protected], or you can call her at 520-425-5996.

If you are already able to swim a length of the pool but would like to become a more confident swimmer and learn additional techniques, the Swim Club also offers a “Let’s Swim” program, which is offered twice a year in the spring and fall. Look for more information on this program in September.