Some people take to swimming like ducks to water, while others go for the tentative approach. Fortunately, Seattle Parks and Recreation has opportunities for all preferences! With eight community pools offering programs throughout the year (plus two seasonal outdoor pools), you can experience the joy of being in the water without waiting for the summer heat. Splash in the shallow end of the pool or crawl the lanes during these designated open swim times. If you yearn to swim but hesitate to get in over your head, sign up for lessons that teach swimming skills and safety, and are specifically geared for kids, teens or adults. Other classes teach specialty skills like diving, swim team prep, or synchronized swimming.
Being in the company of others can make exercise not only more fun, but can build camaraderie and community. Senior Lifeguard Dee England, an instructor at Rainier Beach Pool, reports that “interest in these lessons and classes has increased because we’re a very welcoming place. There’s always room for you no matter what your abilities,” she says. “People appreciate this and come back with their friends.”
Participants can also have fun exercising together in a range of water fitness classes that show real results in increasing flexibility, endurance, and strength. Dee England remembers one student who signed up to drop some weight in preparation for knee surgery. “By the time her procedure date came around,” Dee says, “she had lost so much she didn’t need the surgery!”
The desire to help people from diverse backgrounds is inspiring to many Seattle Parks and Recreation instructors. “It allows you to interact with people from all walks of life – babies, adults, children, and those with special needs,” says Natalie Upton, a lifeguard and teacher at Madison Pool. “It’s an incredible thing to help someone discover an ability they didn’t know they had, conquer a fear of the water, or simply enjoy a new style of recreation.”
Jacob Alhadeff, a lifeguard and instructor at Rainier Beach Pool, agrees that the connection with students is gratifying. “There is a child in a special needs class that I’ve bonded with,” he says. “I’m becoming somewhat of a mentor to him and he wants to be a lifeguard as soon as he can.”
In this city surrounded by lakes, bays and sounds, it pays to be comfortable and safe in the water. Check the schedule and have a blast learning how at one of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s pools!
Class and open swim descriptions
Interested in working for Seattle Parks and Recreation as a lifeguard? We’re training and hiring!
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