Beach season underway


The summer beach season moved into full gear on Monday, July 2, with some 60 kids signed up for lessons in Iroquois and 25 taking lessons at the Morrisburg beach.

Heading up this year’s program in Morrisburg is Bev Fowler who is returning for her second year. At Iroquois, Kristina Swank, in her third season at the beach, is in charge of the program.

Both instructors are reporting a good crop of youngsters and both are seeing the biggest numbers in the lower (generally younger) swim categories.

Fowler, who completed her high school this year at Seaway is heading to Ottawa University in the fall to study Biochemistry. She did all of her early swim training in the South Dundas swim program at Iroquois and earned her certifications at Brockville and Cornwall.

Swank has just completed her first year of university where she is working on her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is her third season at the Iroquois Beach and the first to be in charge of the program.

New this year South Dundas is offering four two-week sessions as opposed to the previous two, three-week sessions of the path. Both instructors feel this should work well.

Fowler says she has heard positive feedback from parents about the two week sessions. She explained that pool lessons are generally once a week for 10 weeks, “so basically, we are applying it to the beaches here. Over the two weeks, that gives the students their 10 hours.”

Both she and Swank are getting the impressions from parents that the two weeks sessions also work better for them as they give them more leeway in taking summer vacations.

Fowler points out the only difference may be that “some of the little kids might take longer than one session to complete a level. But the parents understand that.”

At Morrisburg, most of the swimmers are in the Red Cross lower swim levels, with a good number in the 8-9-10 levels.

Joining Fowler this year at the Morrisburg beach are Kelsey Ellis of Winchester and Kennedi Gervais of Morrisburg.

Ellis is going into grade 12 at North Dundas this fall, and hopes down the road to take college/university courses in Graphic Design which she feels will be beneficial in the operation of her already established art business. Ellis took her early swim lessons in the pool at Winchester and says she is looking forward to a summer on the beach, which will be a bit different from the pool scene. This is her first year of employment in a swim program.

Kennedi Gervais is going into Grade 12 at Seaway this fall and is looking at Science studies after high school. She completed her early swim training in local pools and then finished it off in city pools in Ottawa, Cornwall and Brockville. Gervais, too, says she is looking forward to a summer on the beach. “I love it. It’s tons of fun. I love working with the kids, especially the variety of age groups. I have some kids who are pre-school age and some who are nine and 10 year olds.”

At Iroquois, Swank report most of the swim students are “younger kids”.

“We have five or six registered for Bronze Star which starts on July 16 and we have just six other kids in the higher levels. But the classes up to level six are full.”

Because the maximum is six kids per class there are a couple of levels with two classes.

Swank is joined by Jessica Earl and Elizabeth Horne. Both girls are from Iroquois and both are in their first year at the Iroquois beach. Horne has three years guarding/teaching experience in Brockville.

Earl has just graduated grade 12 at Seaway and will study Pre-Health for Paramedics at Algonguin college in the fall.

Horne is heading to Nova Scotia where she will study nursing at St. Francis Xavier.

Those wishing to sign up for the remaining three swim sessions are asked to do so as soon as possible, either at the beaches or by seeing Ben Macpherson at the visitor centre in the Pinkus Plaza in Morrisburg.

The cost is $35 per swimmer, $65 for two or more swimmers and $100 for families of three or more swimmer. There are also discounts when signing for more than one session. The cost is more at the Bronze swimming levels.

The current session ends this Friday, July 13. Session two runs from July 16-27, followed by sessions from July 30-August 10 and August 13-24.


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