The Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre when it first opened in 2002. Lifeguard and swim instructor courses are currently being offered at a massively reduced rate at the Landing Leisure Centre, Cheam Leisure Centre and Chilliwack YMCA to bring in more instructors due to a shortage. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre when it first opened in 2002. Lifeguard and swim instructor courses are currently being offered at a massively reduced rate at the Landing Leisure Centre, Cheam Leisure Centre and Chilliwack YMCA to bring in more instructors due to a shortage. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Swim instructor courses being offered at greatly reduced rates in Chilliwack

Lower costs of lifeguard courses come as a result of swim instructor shortage in Chilliwack

All three of Chilliwack’s indoor public pools are in great need of swim instructors and lifeguards.

As a result, the Cheam Leisure Centre, Landing Leisure Centre and Chilliwack YMCA are offering lifeguard and swim instructor courses at about a quarter of the average cost.

Chilliwack is experiencing a shortage of swimming lessons because of the low number of instructors. Parents trying to sign their kids up have been finding that swim classes fill up within minutes of registration opening.

READ MORE: Chilliwack parents frustrated over shortage of swimming lessons at local pools

Many parents are concerned because they say swimming is an important lifesaving skill to have.

“I believe every child in Chilliwack should be able to learn how to swim,” Melissa Kendzierski said. “We are surrounded by a lot of water – lakes and rivers – and if we don’t invest in these skills when they’re young, it is harder to learn.”

Now, the three centres are trying to get more people trained by offering significant discounts to lifesaving courses.

Lifeguard courses typically cost between about $300 and $600, according to the B.C. and Yukon branch of the Lifesaving Society.

The Chilliwack YMCA’s 40-hour Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course is currently being offered for $100, and the National Lifeguard Course at Chilliwack’s two leisure centres costs $105.

Recreation Excellence, the private contractor which runs the Cheam Leisure Centre and the Landing Leisure Centre, is calling it a “huge cost savings” in a recent ad.

All three centres currently have job openings for lifeguards, swim instructors and ‘aquatic leaders.’

For more information on the courses, go to recreationexcellence.com (Cheam Leisure Centre and Landing Leisure Centre); or for info on the Chilliwack YMCA swim instructor course, email Karen Price at karen.price@gv.ymca.ca.

– with files from Paul Henderson


 

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