Swimming instructor

Making waves in Chilliwack pool

Making Waves Chilliwack is making it easier for special needs kids to get swimming lessons.

Making Waves Chilliwack is making it easier for special needs kids to get swimming lessons.

They’re actively seeking volunteers after establishing a local not-for-profit chapter of Making Waves Canada, an organization founded in Quebec a few years ago.

The idea is to offer discounted swimming lessons for children with various special needs, from Down syndrome to autism, epilepsy and more.

“We are currently the only chapter in the local area, although a Vancouver chapter is starting up in January,” said Jordan Peters.

The first set of lessons wrapped up last Saturday morning at the Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre. The next ones start the first Saturday morning in February.

Peters is one of the head swimming instructors, along with Laura Friesen, who originally approached him about taking on the Making Waves project, in partnership with the Leisure Centre. They are lifeguards who do this on a purely volunteer basis.

Both are certified Water Safety Instructors who supervise, facilitate and train all the Making Waves volunteers who must be university students according to the national criteria.

Training of the student volunteers will start in January. They have four consistent volunteers so far, and a couple of substitutes.

“We need more!” he said.

It makes a difference for families to be able to get these swimming lessons and water safety skills for such a good price, as many are working poor, and struggling to make ends meet.

“It’s been amazing to watch how these students are able to improve,” Peters said.

They adapt the lessons to the kids’ specific needs, and build a relationship with them.

“Some became more relaxed in the water. With one-on-one attention we were able to see huge improvements.”

They provide lessons exclusively for special needs children at a cost of $20-30 per set. A set comprises up to nine lessons.

They take about 10 kids per set.

“We expect it to grow once we get more instructors. We can’t do it without them.”

To keep program costs low, they are holding a by-donation fundraiser on Dec. 15 at the Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre, with Zumba starting at 1 p.m. in the Fitness Studio and Aquafit in the pool at 1:45. Minimum donation $2 for each class. Sign up at the front desk. Donations collected 30 minutes before each class in lobby.

Find out more at www.makingwaveschilliwack.org

Just Posted

Chilliwack court to decide on allowing assistance dog to sit with sex assault witness

Yellow lab Caber helps calm people in crisis, in police interviews and in courthouse appearances

Chilliwack Special Olympics launches into spring season

Bocce ball, soccer, softball and golf highlight the offerings for 87-plus local athletes.

Rupert the Bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

GW Graham basketball star signs on with Trinity Western Spartans

Grizzly grad Jaya Bannerman is opting to stay close to home after graduating in June.

Local rock hound carves a 9-tonne granite grizzly bear

Chilliwack’s Paul McCarl’s about to complete a carving project 14 years in the making

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

New lead in one of six B.C. searches that remain unresolved

New details in case of couple who’d been flying from Cranbook to Kamloops when plane disappeared

UPDATE: Surrey man wanted in ‘vicious’ attack on autistic man has criminal history

Ronjot Singh Dhami, 25, is wanted for one count of aggravated assault

Former Lower Mainland city councillor in court for sentencing

Dave Murray was convicted of sexual assault in fall.

B.C. announces $175 million to cut hip, knee surgery wait times

Premier John Horgan said money will allow for a 34-per-cent increase in surgeries

Starbucks to unveil latest creation: crystal ball frappuccino

The limited-edition drink will be available starting March 22

Eight B.C. restaurants among website’s top 100 in Canada for night out

Seven in Vancouver and one in White Rock make OpenTable’s list of popular spots

B.C.-pioneered wood construction on a roll internationally

Washington state considers mandatory engineered wood for public buildings

Most Read