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Flatland Swimming

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 10:19am
Kathleen Fellinger with Jeff Toth - Flatland Swimming

It seems summertime and swimming go hand-in-hand.  Whether you are spending your summer vacation at the local pool with friends, time at the lake with your family, or vacationing at the beach, swimming is a fun and healthy activity. It's also a very important skill for parents to teach their children so that they may be safe in and around the water.

This summer, we reached out to Jeff Toth, Owner and Coach of Flatland Swimming in Regina to introduce you to a great swim organization that provides many levels of classes to teach kids how to swim and enjoy the competitive side of the sport.

KinderBuzz Spotlight June & July 2014 - Flatland Swimming

KB:  How did Flatland swim club start here in Regina?  How long have you been around?
FLS: We were established May 2010. I have been involved for over 30 years in the sport both as an athlete and as a developmental, age group, high performance and elite coach.

 

KB:  What are the ages of kids that can participate with Flatland Swimming?
FLS:  We have parent/tot classes that start at 6 months and then Learn to Swim classes from 3 years old to approximately 10 years old.  We also have pre-competitive groups for around 8 - 11 years old and from there kids can start competitive swimming.  For this we have multiple groups.

 

KB:  Where are the classes held?  Do you have a number of locations in the city?
FLS:  At the current moment, we offer classes and our programs at 4 different pools in the city.  The Northwest Leisure Centre, Rochdale YMCA, Downtown YMCA and Lawson Aquatic Centre.  We are working to consolidate all of our programming into a single facility and hope to have it worked out over the summer.

 

 

KB:  Is there a specific method that Flatland uses/adheres to, to teach kids how to swim?
FLS:  As far as Learn to Swim for our younger kids we use a Skill Progression Method.  We do not follow a set curriculm and we do not pass/fail.  We believe that learning to swim is not about passing or failing it is about learning to swim.  We teach kids skills that will allow them to learn to swim.  As each child learns a skill we stack another more complex one on top until we have completed building a child that can swim.

 

 

KB:  Is the program competitive?
FLS: Yes, we have a Pre-competitive group for around 8 - 11 years old.  This is the bridge group from Learn to Swim and Competitive.  At the end of every season, we invite kids that are registered as Non-Competitive to a small meet to introduce them to the concept of competition and give them the opportunity to see if they are interested in being a competitive swimmer.  From there, kids can start competitive swimming.  For this we have multiple groups.

 

KB:  What qualifications/certifications do Flatland instructors have?
FLS:  Our Learn to Swim instructors all possess Red Cross WSI and a competitive swimming background.  As they continue to work for us we assist them to take Swimming Instructor courses through the Swim Coaches of Canada Association.  We also do mentoring with all of our instructors so that we have a consistent method throughout the program.

 

KB:  What type of equipment do kids need/do you recommend for classes?
FLS:  We recommend goggles for all kids and a pony tail for long hair.  We have caps and we offer them to all kids.  They are optional.

 

KB:  What kind of prep can parents do with their kids in order to help them with swimming classes and learning to swim?
FLS:  Parents should be aware that learning to swim is a very long process and even though it may look like they are progressing at a fairly slow rate, which they are, kids are dealing with a foreign medium to move in and swimming does not come naturally.  It takes a long time to adapt and learn.  Once kids get the hang of it, they will improve in leaps and bounds.
 

KB:  If you have a nervous child/high-anxiety child who is not comfortable with swimming or around water, how can a parent help that child?
FLS:  The best thing parents can do is stay calm at all times when they are around water.  Children take their emotional cues from their parents.  Be extremely patient.  Let them play in the water and stretch their boundaries (Showers are great for young kids - let them play and let the water run on their faces so they get familiar and comfortable with water on their faces).  Parents can continue to encourage them to participate in the class and with the instructor, but don't force it.  When kids are ready, they will join in.
 

KB:  How long does it usually take before kids can begin to swim and become comfortable in the water?
FLS:  For the most part - all kids will learn at vastly different rates.  Some 3 year olds are fearless and will play under the water and float and be confident. Others will be shy and timid and not even let their toes touch water.  However, typically if a child begins the process around 3 - 4 years old, by the time they are 6 - 7 years old we begin to see them actually swimming and being safe and confident in the water.

 

KB:  How long do lessons run?
FLS:  Here is a sample schedule:

Parents/Tots Class - 30 minutes/ once a week for 10 weeks
3 - 5 years old - 30 minutes/once a week for 10 weeks
5 - 7 years old - 45 minutes/ once a week for 10 weeks
7 - 9 years old  - 60 minutes/ once a week for 10 weeks
Pre-Competitive ( 8 - 11 years old) - 10 months - 2 times/week

 

KB:  What is the cost of a regular session?
FLS:  Depending on the age and group, our Learn to Swim classes range from $70 - $155 for a 10 week class that meets once a week.

 
KB:  Are there club fees or memberships?
FLS:  Other than the cost of classes, there are two required fees:  The Annual Flatland Family Membership (good for the entire family) - $15/year and an Annual Swim Saskatchewan and Swim Canada Fee (insurance) - $25/per child.  We do offer a 25% multiple sibling discount.

 

KB:  As a coach and owner, what do you love about teaching kids who are involved in the Flatland Swimming Club?
FLS:  Flatland Swimming is unlike any other swimming organization in Saskatchewan.  We are coach owned and we do not have a volunteer board of directors.  We do not require any fundraising or mandatory volunteering.  We are all about teaching swimming.  That is it.  And that's what I love.

 

 

Flatland Swimming Regina Saskatchwan
For more information on Flatland Swimming's upcoming class schedule and registration details, please visit their website or connect with them on 
Facebook:

FLATLAND SWIMMING
www.flatlandswimming.ca
Telephone: (306) 351-0203
Email:  flatlandlandsport@gmail.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pages/Flatland-Swimming

Flatland Swimming