When are the lessons?
Lessons take place on Sunday afternoons at the Gatchell Pool. Lessons are staged in three seasons (Fall, Winter, and Sping). Please visit our Schedule page for more information.
How old does my child have to be to participate?
We accept swimmers ages 3-17 years old.
How are the lessons structured?
At the beginning of each session, we partner children up with an instructor according to their particular needs. The instructor assesses the swimming level of the child at the first lesson and identifies skills they will work towards during the season. Each child works with their own, private instructor for the entirety of the season.
How many lessons are offered each season?
Typically 6-10 lessons, depending on the season.
How long are the lessons?
Each weekly lesson lasts 30 minutes.
My child is afraid of the water/has never done swimming lessons before, is this a problem?
This is not a problem! We accept children regardless of their swimming skill level.
How much do lessons cost?
Lessons cost $20 for the Spring session (6 weeks).
Lessons cost $25 for the Fall session (8-10 weeks).
Lessons cost $25 for the Winter session (8-10 weeks).
Why are S.W.A.M. private lessons this cheap?
Our mission is to provide accessible and affordable water safety education to children with special needs. In order to make water safety instruction more financially accessible, we set our registration fees low enough that cost should not represent a significant barrier to entry. We are able to charge fees this low because our organization is completely volunteer-run and coordinated. We lower our costs by using innovative techniques to delocalize administrative tasks, avoiding the need for dedicated offices, staff or communications equipment. In addition to minimizing operating expenses, we also actively fundraise around campus and solicit donations from the public and private sectors.
Where/when do I pay registration fees?
Registration fees are due by the first day of lessons. We accept Interac e-Transfer (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org). Detailed instructions are sent to those registered for a session before the first lesson.
Who are the instructors?
Instructors are all dedicated volunteers who have been put through a three-step screening and training process.
Is there a lifeguard on duty?
Three-three fully qualified, paid lifeguards, employed directly by the Laurentian pool are always on duty during lessons.
My child is feeling sick and cannot come to lessons, should I let you know?
Yes! It is very important that parents alert us by email in a timely manner if their child is not coming to lessons or if their child will be arriving late. This allows us to give due notification to their instructor, preventing the instructor from arriving to the pool without a child to teach. We need the collaboration of all parents involved to help us retain all of our wonderful volunteers.
What happens if my child's instructor is away on a particular week?
If your child's regular instructor becomes unavailable on a particular week, your child will be provided with a substitute instructor from our roster.
Do you offer lessons during the summer?
We have a Spring session that runs from May-June. There are no lessons during July-August.
Do I need to bring a life jacket to lessons?
If your child has their own lifejacket, you are welcome to bring them for the swimming lessons. We have a few spare jackets here as well. Lifejackets are not required, however if your child is more comfortable wearing one, then we recommend it.
What should my child bring with them to lessons?
Your child should arrive with their bathing suit and a towel, nothing else is necessary. Optional items include a bathing cap, life jacket, nose plug and goggles.
Are there lockers available?
There are free lockers at the pool for use during lessons. However, you will need to bring your own lock.
Do parents get in the water with the children?
No, each child is paired up with an instructor, so there is no need for the parents to enter the water. There is, however, an observation area where parents can sit and watch lessons.
When are lessons held?
Lessons are held on Sunday afternoons (usually between the hours of 3 - 5 pm).
Do you offer other times?
Unfortunately not, one of the ways in which we are able to reduce our costs is by running multiple private lessons simultaneously.
Who is eligible? Does my child require a diagnosis to participate in SWAM?
Our clientele includes children with Down's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Epilepsy, Attention Deficit Disorder, Blind/Low-Vision, Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing, Cerebral Palsy, as well as many other conditions. No official diagnosis is required.
I cannot afford to pay the registration fee all at once, can my child still participate?
Please contact us and we can work out alternative arrangements.
How many children are in the pool at once?
Depending on enrollment, there may be up to a maximum of 35 children in the pool at once, each with their own instructor.
Can I make a donation?
Yes! If you're interested in helping by making a donation, you can do so here.
How do I register?
Please visit our registration page.
Is parking available at the pool?
Yes, there is free parking during SWAM Sudbury lessons on Sundays at the Gatchell Pool.