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Naturally Impactful: Registration Open For CRPD Spring Swimming Lessons

Jesse Bethea Jesse Bethea Naturally Impactful: Registration Open For CRPD Spring Swimming Lessons
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It’s never too early to learn how to swim, not even at the end of February, when it may seem impossible to think about long days at the swimming pool. Starting March 5, anyone can begin registering for spring swimming lessons at the Columbus Recreation and Parks Aquatics Center. CRPD offers lessons for anyone from infants to teenagers and adults at a cost of $40 for residents and $50 for non-residents.

CRPD offers learn-to-swim classes from the American Red Cross, covering basics for preschool aged children, six different swimming strokes for older kids, treading water, diving, continuous swimming and water safety.

“We always welcome and encourage beginners, but we help average swimmers prepare for triathlons, competitions or general fitness goals,” said George Shaw, CRPD Aquatics Director. “There is always more to learn and our instructors do a great job finding new goals and challenges for anyone interested in improving their swimming ability.”

Swimming lessons with CRPD date back more than 50 years, with free lessons offered at each of the eight CRPD outdoor pools during the summer. The indoor Aquatics Center on Hunter Avenue is popular with Winter swimmers and those who register starting March 5 can receive swimming lessons on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from April 7 through May 12. In 2017, nearly 5,000 people registered for swim lessons, a slight increase from 2016.

And of course, one does not need to be or aspire to be an avid swimmer to gain from CRPD’s lessons.

“It is never too late for those with fear of water to learn how to swim well enough to self-rescue and start enjoying the water,” said Shaw.

Becoming a competent swimmer at an early age has lifelong health benefits. Swimming is a total body workout, noted Shaw, requiring cardiovascular fitness, physical strength and flexibility. But the benefits of swimming knowledge – and the risks associated with a lack thereof – can be immediate and serious.

“Most drownings occur in unguarded and unsupervised pools, beaches and natural settings,” said Shaw. “I believe the surest way to prevent drowning is to teach people how to swim. Swimming is a survival skill that anyone can learn. Fear is the most difficult obstacle to learning to swim. Through experience, learning and skill growth, fear is limited from interfering with the learning process.”

Perhaps the most valuable part of early swimming lessons is the ability to participate in the annual coming together of a community around the neighborhood public pool. It’s a lifelong summer tradition that requires only a little bit of learning, and CRPD is happy to teach.

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Naturally Impactful is brought to you by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, which works to enrich and change the lives of our citizens. The column is an effort to share the story of how the pillars of Health and Wellness, Conservation and Social Equity drive the work we do. Each month the column will focus on different sections of the department using these pillars to create a positive impact on our residents’ and visitors’ quality of life along with providing basic knowledge of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, #CRPD. To find more about upcoming happenings at your Columbus Recreation and Parks, visit their Facebook page, Twitter page, or columbus.gov/recreationandparks.

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