Swim Smart teaches good habits

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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Close to 300 people learned water safety while enjoying games and demonstrations as part of the Swim Smart event at the Winkler Aquatic Centre.
Kids lined up to watch demonstrations from lifeguards and firefighters and take part in speed slide races, an obstacle course, basketball, diving board competition and diving for Coke cans at the annual event held July 25.
Aquatic Programmer Taylor Reimer said they were pleased with the event.
“Our goal is to increase water safety with families and the kids as well and make sure they know their roles and are being safe around the water,” she said.
While the demonstrations were a hit, Reimer said the kids loved diving for Coke cans as well.
While the events were designed to be fun, they were all learning experiences. Demonstrations gave attendees a glimpse of firefighter and lifeguard rescues. The Coke can dive was an opportunity to talk to kids about practicing safe diving, and even the tattoo station had lifeguards talking to kids about sunscreen and protecting their skin.
Reimer said they see a varying level of awareness from people who use the pool.
“The people who come here daily, we can see that they’re actively supervising their kids,” she said.
Others aren’t aware of some of the rules.
“We have a ‘within arms reach’ rule… it’s province wide,” she said. “A lot of people aren’t aware of that rule.”
That means all children ages six and under must be within arms reach of a parent at all times.
“The data shows that kids six and under are really at risk for drowning very quickly without supervision so we really enforce that here,” she said.
It’s the role that parents can play, that Reimer wants to stress.
“I would like parents to be really aware of their role in supervising their kids around water, whether that be at the pool even though there are lifeguards,” she said. “The lifeguards are responsible for 500 people, whereas the parents are just watching their kids, so that ensures their safety.”
She also stressed the importance of proper supervision at private pools and the use of life jackets at lakes where things like sandbars, seaweed, and waves can be hazards.
To learn more, like the Winkler Aquatic Centre on Facebook or follow winkler.aquatic.centre on Instagram.

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Getting “rescued”. Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

A fire department rescue demonstration. Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

Swim Smart, 2019, Winkler Aquatic Centre. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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