By Janee Law
The YMCA of Long Island has launched a new swim lesson program for members at all Long Island locations, including Huntington.
The purpose of the program, which kicked off Sept. 10 and runs through Nov. 18, is to strengthen the safety methods provided to the community. The last time the programs methodology was updated was more than 20 years ago.
Anne Brigis, president and CEO of the YMCA of Long Island, said the organization is “dedicated to the safety of our community members, which is why we found it more important than ever to update our swim program to best prepare our members with the ability to be safe around the water and swim confidently.”
She added that the new swim program will move away from the traditional training structure, such as flotation devices, and “instead focus on self-rescue skills and improved swim techniques.”
With that, the program includes three categories that will help swimmers gain confidence and technical skill as they continue to develop as swimmers. These stages are swim starters, swim basics, and swim strokes.
For the swim starters stage, which is for infants and toddlers, ages six months to three years, swimmers are introduced to the aquatic environment. The stage focuses on developing swim preparation skills through fun experiences that help build confidence. This stage is also beneficial to parents by teaching them how to supervise children, prevent accidents, and plan for emergencies.
The swim basics stage is for students of all ages and teaches personal water safety and basic swimming skills to help swimmers develop a strong level of comfort in the water. This is accomplished by practicing safe water habits, engaging in underwater exploration, and learning how to swim to safety and exiting the water if they’ve fallen in.
Students of all ages can learn personal water safety and basic swimming skills in the swim basics stage.
Lastly, the swim strokes stage introduces and refines stroke technique for teenagers and adults. This stage offers the opportunity to learn additional water safety skills and build stroke techniques, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being and foster a lifetime of physical activity.
The Huntington YMCA is located at 60 Main St.