For families looking for a fun and inexpensive way to get out with their babies or toddlers, Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association (SLCPA) is offering a free hour of swimming every Tuesday until March.
“This is a program I believe in,” said Cinzia Cappella, vice-chair with SLCPA. “When I had my son, that was the first thing I wanted for him, was to learn how to swim. It wasn’t an opportunity I had.”
The program runs on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the pool at the NexSource Centre, with a gap from Dec. 13 to Jan. 14 for Christmas.
“It’s something for families to do and the kids are going to remember these fun experiences,” said Cappella.
This program was going a few years ago, but it was put on hold due to COVID, and has just started up again since September.
“It’s super open and super inviting,” Cappella said of the program. “Our goal is to get moms to meet and kids to discover the water.”
Kara Edgeworth is a Sylvan Lake mom with two boys, ages 4 and 2, and this is her second year taking part in the program – before and now after COVID.
“With coming every week, the boys are getting so much more comfortable with the water. This program has helped them feel safe in the water,” Edgeworth said, adding that she took her sons to the wave pool at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer recently, and she was amazed at how much more confident they were.
Being able to interact with other moms is another highlight of the program for Edgeworth.
“It’s so awkward to meet mom friends,” she laughed. “But I don’t feel judged and it’s a comfortable environment here. Everybody looks out for each other’s kids.”
Going forward, Cappella is looking for donations to be able to keep the programming running. Interested donors can call the SLCPA office or make the donation right at the NexSource Centre by buying pool punch passes or putting money onto the SLCPA account with the pool.
When the pool programs ends in March, Cappella said SLCPA will be encouraging families to meet at the Lions Legacy Park in front of the town office each week and then once the weather gets colder again, the pool program will start back up.