From the Centre: Sea otters take to pool

Web Lead

We have a new member of the family, a little odd and hairy looking but a member just the same. Welcome, sea otters to the Red Cross family of lessons that we currently offer, in this case, to the preschool set. Based on parental feedback, Red Cross created the sea otter level to ensure an easier transition to unparented levels. The parented levels will continue to be starfish, duck and sea turtle. Unparented levels will start with the new sea otter level and progress through salamander, sunfish, crocodile and whale. Following that are the totally unexciting names of levels 1 though 10.

I got to thinking what I grew up with in the way of lessons; luckily I didn’t have a father that rowed out to the middle of the lake and tossed me out as a kid utilizing the sink or swim method of teaching. Or if I did, he was obviously outvoted by my mom who felt swimming lessons from June 30 to Sept. 1 each summer was the better way to prolong the suffering. I vaguely remember tadpoles, then frogs, but it was also in the 1960s that we had beginners, juniors, intermediates and seniors. I remember a childhood of perpetually red eyes from the chlorinated, semi-heated pools as well as that familiar chlorine smell on your skin until sometime around Christmas. Not to mention that we had to walk to swimming lessons each day, uphill both ways.

Long after I finished lessons, in 1981, Red Cross introduced the colour system of badges — remember badges? What great moms we had, to pick off your old badge from your swimsuit and hand stitch on the next level so you could proudly display your trophy while shivering uncontrollably on deck waiting to go back into the tepid water to warm up. Oh, and let’s not forget about the artificial respiration days, where you had to pair up with someone, lay on the sub zero tile pool deck and actually blow into the other person’s mouth to make their chest rise — obviously we hadn’t quite made the research advancements in exchanging bodily fluids back then.

Jump ahead to 1996 where Red Cross introduces the AquaQuest system, which also had numbered levels such as AQ3 and AQ4 plus the resurrection of tadpoles and frogs, amongst other amphibious creatures. Somewhere between then and now we again switched to the present system of Red Cross Swim Kids, along with many patient explanations to parents about where their transitioning child was, is and should be. The one constant from time immemorial is that many parents realize it is very important for their children to learn to swim and one cannot help but wonder how many lives have been saved by learning this simple skill.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.


Just Posted

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Creston police kept busy with unwanted guest complaints

Creston RCMP responded to 59 calls for assistance

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Rural residents could face higher fire protection costs

Erickson and Arrow Creek property owners will pay more for fire protection

Brewery workers claim more job losses

Interior Brewery Workers Local 308 says that Labatt Breweries of Canada is manipulating data to justify the loss of jobs at Creston’s 50-year-old brewery.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read