Ensuring the aquatic safety of students in Guelph.
Please note: This program is currently paused.
SHARKs (Safe Healthy Aquatic Recreation for Kids) is an innovative and exciting swim program that the YMCA of Three Rivers provides to all grades 3 and 5 students in the city of Guelph. It is the only program of its kind and is offered to all public, private and catholic elementary school students in Guelph. The YMCA of Three Rivers has partnered with the Lifesaving Society, City of Guelph, and University of Guelph to bring this program to 100% of grades 3 and 5 students in Guelph, free of cost.
What does SHARKs teach?
The SHARKs program teaches the Lifesaving Society's "Swim to Survive" curriculum of surviving a sudden and unexpected fall into deep water. With SHARKs training, children learn how to:
Recover from a fall into the water
Tread water until rescuers arrive
Swim to safety
What is the impact of the SHARKs program?
Inclusivity — all grades 3 and grade 5 students in Guelph (approximately 3,200 children) are bused to and from local swimming pools on three separate occasions to partake in the program.
Increased ability — of the children who did not pass the Swim to Survive standard in the first lesson, 15% of these children passed the standard by the end of the program (on day 3). This marked improvement shows how the SHARKs program helped these children to develop vital Swim to Survive skills (results from 2017 program).
Increased confidence — the SHARKs program is more than just teaching Swim to Survive skills. Do we want every child to pass? Absolutely! For some kids, however, it is their first time touching water outside of a bathtub. Therefore, the program also teaches water safety awareness to new swimmers and gives them time to play and become comfortable in the water.