Conquering the fear of water

I am Shreelatha, am 30 yrs old, moved recently to Kelowna.

I have been scared of water since my childhood, but an accident that happened while canoeing got me terrified of water. I would be so scared of even standing in the swimming pool.

And being in Kelowna, you have so much water/lakes around. And while at a beach with my son, I would be terrified what if something happens and I need to get into the water.

So I decided its time to overcome my fear of water and get some swimming lessons. Thats when I reached out to Donna/WETS about adult swimming classes. Donna was so good at understanding my issues, so patient and assured me that everything would be fine. Savannah, my coach just started at a level where I was comfortable in water and slowly worked on getting me better. And with each class I could notice how I was beginning to change.

I still remember, I would go into the class still being scared of even floating. She would constantly encourage and motivate me to do better. She was teaching me to swim and also helping me overcome my fears. I still have lots to learn but am certainly in a better place than I started and definitely in good hands.

I am so glad I reached out to WETS. Donna is always available for any suggestions/advice you need and can be reached anytime. I would definitely refer WETS to anyone who wants to learn swimming.

By |February 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Backyard Pool Parties – what to do with no lifeguard on duty

Backyard pool parties are a fun way to cool off and enjoy the summer.

However, when you decide to host a pool party, be aware of the risks. Did you know that 15 out of 100 child drownings in Canada are occurring in backyard pools? Newswire.ca reports, “In 70 percent of child drownings in backyard pools, the pool has no fence or has a fence that does not adhere to safety bylaws.” They also add, “Sixty per cent of child drownings occur between June and August.”

One way to ensure your pool party is both fun and safe is to hire a lifeguard. 

Drowning deaths in lifeguard supervised settings such as public pools and waterfronts continue to be few. In 2009-2013 less than 2% of all water related fatalities occurred in a lifeguard supervised setting.

2016 Canadian Drowning Report – Lifesaving Society

What happens if you can’t hire a lifeguard?  

Follow these 5 steps as a Designated Water Watcher!

1. Get a Fox 40 whistler and put it on a wrist band 

2. Appoint an adult to take on the role as the Designated Water Watcher (DWW), or 2 or 3 

3. Give them the whistle on the wrist band, and some special item (hat, armband, or T-shirt) that signifies that they are the DWW  

4. They must only watch the pool.  If/when the pass the responsibilities to someone else, they must pass on the whistle and the DWW item on to the next DWW.  

5. Responsibilities are: To supervise, Enforce the rules, Keep the area clear, select a back-up person (someone specific to help if there’s a problem) Respond to an emergency, Know the address of the location.

Now you’re ready to host your fun and safe backyard pool party!


Swim Club or Not to Swim Club

Swim Club or Not to Swim Club, that is the question!

Are you thinking of putting your little one(s) in swim club? I find myself having this conversation with many parents that are inquiring about competitive swimming and here is my reply:
I was a competitive swimmer from age 8 – 17 and my daughter was from age 10 – 17. So if your swimmer is competitive, has a love for swimming, and has strong strokes than by all means go for it.

However, I find that since WETS students can learn to do front crawl and other strokes at a very early age, their parents get really excited and think that “maybe swimming is my child’s sport”, and they move from our lessons to a club. While in the club, many become disappointed and return to WETS.

The reality is – at WETS with only 4 students in a class – your swimmer is getting a lot of attention with stroke building and correction. We start with swimming short distances to build the stroke correctly and then add distance to build endurance later. In swim club there can be up to 8 swimmers in a lane, in a large pool, and there is very little stroke correction. It is difficult for a coach to evaluate strokes when the swimmers are training in a middle lane. Also, keep in mind that the public pools are noisy and wavy and can be overwhelming to young swimmers. Another thing to consider is that often swimmers get bored swimming length after length, day after day, week after week.

To help transition WETS swimmers to a swim club we have developed the WETS Squad Club. We meet once a week, have 6 swimmers in a lane, and work on the 4 competitive strokes of Front Crawl, Back Stroke, Breast Stroke and Butterfly. The swimmers are also introduced to the proper start, turn and finish for each stroke. Once a month we introduce other aquatic sports such a synchronized swimming, water polo, snorkeling and triathlons. We also participate in the Fun Mini Swim Meet in February with the Ogopogo Swim Club. If they love it you will know, and if they do make the move to a swim club they will be far better equip to meet the challenges after this experience. You, the parent, will also have an idea of what a swim meet is all about, and the volunteering that accompanies it.

Donna Morel
Owner and trainer of We Teach Swimming

wets club water polo

By |September 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Is Dog Paddle for Dogs? Donna says YES!

Hey, do you teach dog paddle?

Dog Paddle

First of all, hay is for horses and dog paddle is for dogs!

So no, we do not teach dog paddle.  Dog paddle is a very inferior style of swimming that some students have learned.  It is a form of swimming where the student lifts their head up out of the water while looking forward.   When a swimmer is in this position, their body will tend to drop to a vertical position, causing the swimmer to tire out quickly.

At WETS we teach the swimmers to swim on their front with their face in the water, and roll onto their back or their side to take a breath.  To swim this way keeps the swimmer in a horizontal position and can easily take a breath.  If they are in trouble and need to take a break, rolling onto their back allows them to breath for as long as they want to calm down.  They are also in a position to call for help.  If they are in this situation while doing dog paddle for any length of time, they will tire much faster, and it is much easier to choke on water, and go into a complete vertical position and slip under the water.

Dog Paddle is for DOGS.

-Donna Morel

By |June 22nd, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Try it before you buy it- Especially with team sports!

Have you ever signed up your child for a sport or activity that you thought they would LOVE, but when they tried it, it wasn’t what they thought it would be? If so, you are not alone.


An unfortunate softball career

When I was in grade 6 my parents signed me up to play in a local softball team. I had only ever played the sport in gym at school and I had a couple friends joining the team, so it seemed like a good fit… It didn’t take me very long to realize that I was very wrong- in fact I hated it! I was a nervous wreck on bat, I couldn’t take the pressure to catch a fly ball and my parents had to drive all over our city and to other cities to play weekly games. We could not wait for the season to end-I should have participated in a tournament or some kind of introduction first. Turns out I liked the game during gym class but hated it when it got competitive! This was the unfortunate result of over commitment, high expectations, and little experience.
– Story by Danielle, Swim Instructor

Canadian parents can spend between $5,000 up to $10,000 for their children to compete in competitive leagues or teams.While swimming remains a comparably affordable organized sport for children, it is important to ensure that your family resources (time, money, energy) are spent on a sport that your child enjoys and that fits with your family’s lifestyle.

It isn’t always easy to gauge whether or not a particular sport will be a fit for your child or your family.

To combat this issue in the world of swimming and Swim Clubs, WETS Swim School created SQUADS Pre-Swim Club! Try out this introduction to the swim club world before making a larger commitment.

  • Allows kids to see if this is something they like before they join a swim team.
  • Allows families and parents to experience the time commitment and volunteer hours needed to go to swim meets.
  • Allows swimmers to gain experience in a less competitive setting.
  • Prepares swimmers for joining a swim team.
  • Gives swimmers confidence to succeed at their first swim meet.

Learn more about SQUADS and the WETS Club

WETS squad team

By |January 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Should I put my child in swimming lessons?

3 reasons why the answer is YES.

  1. Drowning is a real risk

    WHO Global Report on Drowning

    Full report

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1-4 years, and for children who live near open water sources, such as ditches, ponds, irrigation channels, or pools are especially at risk. Given that in the Okanagan we have many rivers, steams, and lakes, it is so important that all children learn how to swim and respect the water.

  1. This form of exercise can last a lifetime

Swimming is one of the best sports for learning coordination, balance and movement. Swimming is also very scalable offering increased resistance for increased effort. Introducing your child to swimming early on will promote a healthy life. Once your child knows how to swim, they may hop in a pool at any point in their life to get a low-risk, high-intensity workout.

  1. Starting early can save you money

The sooner children get into swimming lessons or have access to supervised play in the water, the better. When children learn to have fun in the water, they also develop their trust in the water. When children trust the water, they can learn swimming skills much faster- thus saving time and money spent on lessons! A parent who is afraid of water is likely to pass on the fear to the child. Parents can put their children in swimming lessons early on to avoid this transference.

By |November 29th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|