While the City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department offers indoor aquatic programs, there is an option for parents who want their kids to get fresh air.
According to Michial Seginowich, city aquatics recreation coordinator, programming is available at Westwood Lake Park. There are swimming lessons running Monday through Friday, in two week sets, until the end of August and also special event programs at the lifeguarded beach.
National Drowning Prevention Week takes place starting Saturday (July 18) and Seginowich said the parks and recreation department will be hosting a related event at the lake Sunday.
“We’re going to do some water safety activities with the kids and we’re going to teach them self rescue in the water if they fall out of a boat or off the dock,” Seginowich said.
“How they can quickly rescue themselves to the side, work back to the dock and do some games, we’ll hand out some temporary tattoos and we’ll also have a [prevention campaign display] out as well.”
There is also Hawaiian Holidaze scheduled for Aug. 14 between 1 and 3 p.m., a party with a tropical holiday theme.
“It’s a fun day for a couple of hours where we want to get all of the families in the area to come down to the (Westwood Lake Park) beach and play some games with our lifeguards,” Seginowich said.
Pineapple tosses with hula hoops, races and coconut bowling will be amongst the activities and there will be prizes up for grabs.
Seginowich stressed the importance of swimming lessons and Westwood Lake Park is an ideal locale.
“Doing [lessons] at the lake, what a great advantage to do some programs out here,” said Seginowich. “This is where we’re going to apply those skills, those life skills, is here in an open water environment, and at a pool, of course, too.”
The next set of lessons begins July 20 and it is advised that parents should register children sooner than later.
“Honestly, I would tell people to register as soon as possible because they do fill up fast,” Seginowich said.
For parents interested in registering their children for swimming lessons at Westwood Lake Park, or at any of the city swimming pools, please call 250-756-5200 or go to ireg.nanaimo.ca.