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Swim for Life

“The acquisition of basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada” - Lifesaving Society Canadian Swim to Survive position statement.

Features and Benefits

Swim for Life is a complete learn-to-swim program from Parent & Tot through to Leadership. Easy to program and easy to explain, Swim for Life leads seamlessly into the Society’s lifesaving training awards. The program is endorsed by the International Life Saving Federation and the Commonwealth Royal Life Saving Society.

Swim for Life Program Modules

There are five modules in the Swim for Life program:

  • 1. Parent & Tot for parents and children up to 3 years of age
  • 2. Preshool for children 4-5 years
  • 3. Swimmer for children 5 years and older
  • 4. Adult Swimmer for people over 16 years
  • 5. Fitness Swimmer for swimmers of any age who want to improve their overall physical fitness.

The Society designed the modules to flow together seamlessly and logically into one another and into the basic lifesaving awards: Rookie, Ranger and Star Patrol

MAKING THE MOVE: UNDERSTANDING LIFESAVING SOCIETY PROGRAMS, FOR SWIMMERS AND PARENTS

Moving away from Canadian Red Cross swim and lifeguard programs is a big change. We're here to help you understand how Lifesaving Society programs compare to Canadian Red Cross Programs.

While many programs have several components within them (such as how Red Cross Swim was made up of Swim Preschool, Swim Kids, and Swim School), the below chart shows a high-level comparison of Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society programs. Keep scrolling for more information on Lifesaving Society Swim programs and transferring to them from Red Cross Swim.

CANADIAN RED CROSS PROGRAM LIFESAVING SOCIETY EQUIVALENT
Red Cross Swim Swim for Life
Water Safety Instructor Swim for Life Instructor
Water Safety Instructor Trainer Swim for Life Trainer

View the complete Swim Kids to Swim for Life transition chart

PARENT AND TOT PROGRAMS

Swim for Life Parent and Tot structures in-water interaction between parent/caregiver and child to stress the importance of play in developing water-positive attitudes and skills.

Recommended Age: 4 months - 3 years

FROM RED CROSS SWIM PRESCHOOL TO SWIM FOR LIFE - PARENT AND TOT
Starfish Parent and Tot 1 (4-12 months)
Duck Parent and Tot 2 (12-24 months)
Sea Turtle Parent and Tot 3 (2-3 years)

See Parent and Tot skills at a glance.

PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

Swim for Life Preschool ensures children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills.

Recommended Age: 3-5 years

FROM RED CROSS SWIM PRESCHOOL TO SWIM FOR LIFE - PARENT AND TOT
Sea Otter Preschool 1 (if Sea Otter incomplete)
Preschool 2 (if Sea Otter complete)
Salamander Preschool 1 (if Salamander incomplete)
Preschool 2 (if Salamander complete)
Sunfish Preschool 2 (if Sunfish incomplete)
Preschool 3 (if Sunfish complete)
Crocodile Preschool 4 (if Crocodile incomplete)
Preschool 5 (if Crocodile complete)
Whale Preschool 5 (if Whale incomplete)
Swimmer 1 or 2 (if 5 years old)

See Preschool skills at a glance.

SWIMMER PROGRAMS

Swim for Life Preschool ensures children become comfortable in the water and have fun developing a foundation of water skills.

Recommended Age: 5-12 years old

See Swimmer skills at a glance.

FROM RED CROSS SWIM KIDS TO SWIM FOR LIFE - SWIMMER
Swim Kids 1 Swimmer 1 (if Swim Kids 1 incomplete)
Swimmer 2 (if Swim Kids 1 complete)
Swim Kids 2 Swimmer 2 (if Swim Kids 2 incomplete or complete)
Swim Kids 3 Swimmer 2 (if Swim Kids 3 incomplete)
Swimmer 3 (if Swim Kids 3 complete)
Swim Kids 4 Swimmer 3 (if Swim Kids 4 incomplete or complete)
Swim Kids 5 Swimmer 3 (if Swim Kids 5 incomplete)
Swimmer 4 (is Swim Kids 5 complete)
Swim Kids 6 Swimmer 4 (if Swim Kids 6 incomplete)
Swimmer 5 (if Swim Kids 6 complete)
Swim Kids 7 Swimmer 5 (if Swim Kids 7 incomplete)
Swimmer 6 (if Swim Kids 7 complete)

After completing the Swimmer program, next steps include:

Swim Kids 8 Swimmer 6 (if Swim Kids 8 incomplete)
Rookie Patrol (if Swim Kids 8 complete)
Swim Kids 9 Rookie Patrol (if Swim Kids 9 incomplete or complete)
Swim Kids 10 Ranger or Star Patrol (if Swim Kids 10 incomplete)
Bronze Star (if Swim Kids 10 complete)
  • Canadian Swim Patrol (Rookie, Ranger, Star)
  • Junior Lifeguard Club)
  • Bronze Star/Medallion

Learn more about the Lifesaving Program

ADULT PROGRAMS

In addition to swimming programs geared towards youth, the Lifesaving Society also has programs aimed at adults. Swimming programs include Adult Swimmer and Fitness Swimmer.

Lifesaving and Leadership Programs are also perfect for adults!

ADULT SWIMMER

The Adult Swimmer Program is for beginners or swimmers who want to improve their skills. Within the Adult Swimmer curriculum, participants set their own goals to develop water confidence and recognizable strokes.

See Adult Swimmer skills at a glance.

FITNESS SWIMMER

The Fitness Swimmer Program is for swimmers of any age who want to improve their overall physical fitness in the water. Some of the skills covered include: use of pace clocks; stretches; workout design; and distance swimming. Fitness Swimmer provides a structured approach to improve physical fitness based on accepted training principles and practices.

See Fitness Swimmer skills at a glance .

LIFESAVING PROGRAMS

Swimmers who have completed Swim Kids 8 or above move into the Lifesaving Program. Higher levels of the Lifesaving Program are also great for adults. As long as you're a strong swimmer it's never too late to work towards becoming a lifeguard!

The Lifesaving Program includes:

Canadian Swim Patrol Program

  • Rookie Patrol
  • Ranger Patrol
  • Star Patrol

Bronze Medal awards

  • Bronze Star
  • Bronze Medallion
  • Bronze Cross

National Lifeguard Service® (NL) awards

  • National Lifeguard - Pool
  • National Lifeguard - Water Park
  • National Lifeguard - Waterfront
  • National Lifeguard - Surf

Aside from entering the Lifesaving Program, swimmers may also be interested in joining local Lifeguard Clubs (Junior Lifeguard Clubs (JLC) or Senior Lifeguard Clubs (SLC)) where they can continually improve swimming and lifesaving skills and participate in Lifesaving Sport.

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