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Little Swimmers

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With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start making activity plans for your little one. What better way then to enroll them in swim school, we asked Ria Mackay the Founder and Head Instructor of Aqualogic Swim Co. to answer a few question on the importance of swim lessons and how to know if your child is ready to take the dip.

1. What urged you to become a swimming instructor?

At first, it started out as a summer job teaching kids from our neighborhood from 1992-1997. When I graduated from college and started working in 1997, I was teaching swimming after office hours and on weekends. Finally in 2000, I decided to leave the corporate world to pursue a full-time career in swimming instruction as many parents have encouraged me to follow my passion. After my resignation from my corporate job in 2000, I went to the US to take get my teaching certifications.

2. Why is it important for a child to learn how to swim?

Learning how to swim is as important as learning how to walk. It is important for children to learn to swim to (1) develop safety skills and positive attitude towards the water; (2) build character and self-confidence; (3) promote discipline and independence; (4) improve level of physical fitness; and (5) set a positive foundation towards a lifetime of enjoyment in water-related activities.

3. What is the best age to start taking lessons?

In my experience, the younger they are, the easier for us to teach the child to swim. We usually start them at 6 months old, but children below 24 months should be the best time to start swim lessons. We want our students to swim independently and be able to bob their head up for a breath or roll over on their back before they turn 3 years old.

4. What is your teaching style?

We use a creative, non-traditional and progressive approach in teaching children essential swim skills utilizing interactive games and engaging pool toys. We have found that this “learning thru play” format is an effective way to encourage children to learn to swim and enjoy the water environment.

 5. How do you handle kids who are crying in the pool or afraid of the water?

Crying or resistance is not a prerequisite to learning how to swim. However, some children react negatively when introduced to a new environment. Parents should stay calm and encourage the child to participate even if he/she is crying. There may be cases when the instructor may need to set the child aside to address the child’s fear or issue. Parents should give the instructor an opportunity to bond with the child as they have been trained to handle different situations in the pool. It maybe heartbreaking for the parent to see their child cry when first introduced to the swim program, but with proper handling, positive reinforcement, and a regular routine, children learn to eventually love the water despite their initial reaction to their first swim lesson. It usually takes about 2-4 lessons to get the child to warm up to the class.

Many have found our method of teaching swimming very effective for children, especially those who are fearful or those who have had a traumatic experience in the water.  We take the time to let children feel that the pool is a pleasant and safe place to be in. Children who have developed fear or a repulsive attitude towards the water will usually cry, but with the combination of structured play and discipline, they calm down and achieve comfort in the water.

 6. What do kids need to know about going for swim in a pool or the ocean?

 Learn the 3 Safety Rules:

(1) Wait for an adult to enter the water first.
(2) Ask permission from an adult to enter the water.
(3) Stay away from the pool or ocean if there is no adult supervision.

7. What products do you recommend kids should have before going for a swim? 

I recommend the following products:

Swim Suit
A snugly-fit bathing suit or swim trunks to ensure free movement and less drag for the little swimmer. Rash Guards / Sun suits
To reinforce sun protection, we encourage all our students to wear a rash guard or a sun suit over their bathing suit. These suits are usually made of spandex, lycra or polyester, and the material has an inherent SPF (Sun Protection Factor).

If you or your child gets cold easily in the water, we recommend wearing a NEOPRENE wet suit over your swimsuit to keep warm during swimming lessons.

Goggles 
Our young swimmers can focus and learn better when they can see clearly underwater. Getting them the right pair of goggles is very important. You should have your child try on the goggles before you purchase them to ensure that it is comfortable, fit well, and is easy to adjust. Tinted lenses are recommended if you swim outdoors to protect the eyes from the glaring rays of the sun.

Big Towel / Bath Robe
You want to make sure that you dry off your child when you take them out of the pool and wrap your child with a towel or a robe to keep them warm after their swim lesson.

Waterproof Sunscreen (at least 30 SPF)
If you will be swimming in an outdoor pool, we have to protect our child from the harmful rays of the sun by using a sunscreen specifically formulated for babies/children. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before the swim lesson to let the skin absorb it, and to also avoid any excess lotion running down the child’s eyes. Trust us on the sunscreen!

Non-Slip Slippers or Shoe 
We highly-recommend that the students and parents wear non-slip shoes or slippers around the pool deck to avoid any accidents since the area is always wet.

 8. Can you give Safety tips for both kids and their parents?

Adult supervision is a must whether your children know how to swim or not. Most drowning incidents for children below 5 years old happen when the parents or caregivers are around.

For kids who know how to swim, parents should keep an eye on their children at all times and should know where to access the lifeguard in case of an emergency.

For kids who don’t know how to swim, we recommend parents to swim with their children and not rely on floaties, armbands, swim rings, or vests because these give artificial sense of balance and promote a vertical position which is not good for swimming. We teach children to be streamlined in a horizontal position so they can propel themselves effortlessly. Using these floatation devices will only promote bad posture for swimming. In my experience, children who are used to wearing these floatation devices are afraid to put their head underwater because they got used to having their head out of the water.

9. Can you recommend some swimming activities that kids can do to improve their swimming skills?

Going to swim lessons would be the best recommendation I can give for children to improve their swim skills. Parents should have a dialogue with their child’s swim instructor to monitor their progress so that they can practice with their kids during their family swim time.

Another recommendation is to make bath time a fun time for kids. Place toys and and do interactive games while bathing your child so he/she will associate water time as “fun time”. Pouring water on your child’s head on cue(“1…2…3…” ) would also be helpful so they anticipate when to hold their breath.

10. Name a few of your memorable experiences while teaching kids?

There are a lot of memorable experiences, but one there is one that I won’t forget which is when a parent sent me a text message saying, “You saved my child’s life.” So I called her and asked her what happened. She said that her 3 year old son was playing around their garden (alone) and suddenly slipped into a 6 ft deep pond. Because of his regular swim lessons and our “jump-turn-and grab” exercise, the boy held on to a rock and climbed out of the pond without any fear or trauma. He just went back into the house drenched and told his mom he fell in the pond, turned around, and grabbed the wall just like Teacher Ria taught him.

Every moment spent with the kids is memorable for me. It is such a thrill for me to see smiling faces during swim lessons.

11. What do you love most about teaching and swimming?

What I love the most about teaching is am able to help children (and adults) develop their passion for swimming. I am not just teaching them safety skills, but I am also building character, and confidence in and around water. I used to take it for granted because my line of work is unconventional, but I realized that I have made a difference in so many lives because of swimming.

Ria Mackay is the Founder and Head Instructor of Aqualogic Swim Co. She started competing for the Alabang Country Club Gators Swim Team at the age of 9, represented the Benedictine Abbey School and went on as captain of the De La Salle University Women’s Varsity Swimming Team. She started teaching swimming at the age of 16 years old and has spent more than half her life sharing the joy of swimming to students as young as 6 months old.

She has been a Total Immersion™ Instructor since 2000, and travels to the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Guam to run workshops for Adults.

She joined the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in Camsur, Philippines in 2010 and 2011 as the swimmer for the Mixed Relay Category, and won 2nd and 1st place respectively.

She  earned her Advanced Teacher Training Certification for Infant/Toddler Swimming from the Lifestyle Swim School in Boca Raton, Florida – recognized by the Swimming Hall of Fame as one of the leading authorities on swim instruction for young students in the U.S. She is a member of USSSA (United States Swim School Association), a global network of swim school owners and educators and attends conferences regularly.

She has recently updated her training for Infant/Toddler Swimming with Debbie Marrs-Sayers, an International Speaker for Swim Conferences and founder of DolFun Swim Academy in Portland, Oregon.

Telephone: +632.703.6386
Mobile: +63.917.858.2782
Email: info@aqualogicswim.com
Website: http://www.aqualogicswimco.com/
Facebook: Aqualogic Swim Co

 

SWIM LEVELS 

AquaBabes 1 (6-12 months old)

AquaBabes 2 (13-24 months)

AquaBabes 3 (25-35 months)

AquaTots (2.5-3 years old) – Graduated from AquaBabes class or first time for a 3 year old to take lessons

AquaPALS (3 years old & up) – 1-on-1 instruction for children with Autism

AquaKids 1 (4-6 years old)
- Child’s first time to take swim lessons
- Child is fearful of the water
- Child does not like to separate from parent/guardian
- Child does not like to put face underwater

AquaKids 2 (4-6 years old)
- Child willingly enters the pool
- Beginner but has NO FEAR of putting head underwater and blow bubbles
- Can move along confidently in shallow water

AquaKids 3  (4-6 years old)
- Can swim short distances, bob head up for breath or roll over on back
-  Do not know swim strokes
- Can do stationary back float independently
- Retrieve toys from pool floor with assistance
- Assisted Knee Dive from pool deck
- Can jump into the water-turn-swim & grab on the side of the pool

AquaKids 4 (4-6 years old)
- Knowledgeable in Backstroke or Freestyle
- Can retrieve toys from pool floor independently
- Can do knee dives from pool deck

AquaKids 5
 (7-12 years old)
-  Needs to build confidence in the water and no knowledge of swim strokes

AquaKids 6 (7-12 years old)
- Knowledgeable in at least 2 Swim Strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke or Breaststroke )

AquaKids 7 (7-12 years old)
- Knowledgeable in at least 3 swim strokes (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke)

AquaTech
 (13 years old & up) – adults of any age or skill level who want to learn how to swim using the Total Immersion Method.

 

TUITION FEES 

Annual Registration Fee: P500 per student

AquaBABES / AquaTOTS (Infant-Toddler Swimming -1 instructor : 8 students)

2x a week      = P 5,995 / 8 lessons (valid for 4 weeks)

Once a week = P 6,395 / 8  lessons (valid for 8 weeks)

 

AquaKIDS (Teaching Kids to Swim - 1 instructor : 4 students)

2x a week      = P6,695 / 8 lessons (valid for 4 weeks)

Once a week = P7,395 / 8 lessons (valid for 8 weeks)

AquaPALS (Persons with Autism Learning to Swim – 1 teacher:1 student)
2 x week =  P7,395 / 8 lessons (30 mins) per lesson

 

AquaTECH (Stroke Efficiency Program for Adults - 1 instructor : 4 students)

2x a week = P7,895 (valid for 4 weeks)


AQUAFITNESS
 (Water Aerobics – 1 instructor : 10 students)
2x a week = P5,000 (8 lessons)

 

SWIM SCHEDULE – January-March 2014

Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas, Pasig  (Indoor-Heated Pool)
Tuesday & Thursday
3:00-4:00 pm   AquaKids
3:00-3:30 pm   AquaBabes (6-18 mos)
3:30-4:00 pm   AquaBabes (19-36 mos)
4:00-5:00 pm   AquaKids

Saturday
10:30-11:00 pm       AquaBabes (6-12 mos)
11:00am-12:00 pm  AquaKids
11:00 am-11:30 pm AquaBabes (13-24 mos)
11:30 am-12:00 pm AquaBabes (25-36 mos)
1:00-2:00 pm           AquaKids
2:00-3:00 pm           AquaKids / AquaTech

Makati Shangri-La  Hotel
Monday & Wednesday
7:00-8:00 pm   AquaTech (Adults)
8:00-9:00 pm   AquaTech (Adults)

Tuesday & Thursday
7:00-8:00 pm   AquaTech (Adults)
8:00-9:00 pm   AquaTech (Adults)

New World Hotel, Makati
Monday & Wednesday
3:00-4:00 pm AquaKids
4:00-5:00 pm AquaKids

Monday & Wednesday
6:00-7:00 pm  AquaFitness

Saturday
9:00-10:00 am   AquaTech (Adults)
10:00-11:00 am AquaTech (Adults)

****************************
SUMMER SCHEDULE (Starting March 31, 2014)

BATCH 1 (MONDAY & WEDNESDAY) – March 31, April 2, 7, 14, 21, 23, 28, 30
BATCH 1 (TUESDAY & THURSDAY) – April 1, 3, 8, 15, 22, 24, 29, May 6
BATCH 2 (MONDAY & WEDNESDAY) -May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
BATCH 2 (TUESDAY & THURSDAY) – May 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, June 3

Make Up Classes (maximum of 2 lessons only) – between June 2-5 only

MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL
Monday & Wednesday / Tuesday & Thursday

AquaTots (2.5 – 3 years old)

8:30-9:00 am
9:00-9:30 am
9:30-10:00 am
10:00-10:30 am
10:30-11:00 am
11:00-11:30 am

AquaPALS (3 years & up)
10:30-11:00 am
11:00-11:30 am

AquaKids 1 & 2 (4-6 years old)
8:30-9:15 am
9:15-10:00 am

AquaKids 3 & 4 (4-6 years old)
10:00-10:45 am
10:45-11:30 am

AquaKids 5, 6, & 7 (7-12 years old) / AquaTech (13 years old & up)
8:30-9:30 am
9:30-10:30 am
10:30-11:30 am

THE VILLAGE SPORTS CLUB, BF Paranaque
Tuesday & Thursday

AquaBabes
9:00-9:30 am (6-12 months old)
9:30-10:00 am (13-24 months old)
10:00-10:30 am (25-35 months old)

AquaTots (2.5 – 3 years old)
8:30-9:00 am
9:00-9:30 am
9:30-10:00 am
10:00-10:30 am
10:30-11:00 am
11:00-11:30 am

AquaPALS (3 years & up)
10:30-11:00 am
11:00-11:30 am

AquaKids 1 & 2 (4-6 years old)
8:30-9:15 am
9:15-10:00 am

AquaKids 3 & 4 (4-6 years old)
10:00-10:45 am
10:45-11:30 am

AquaKids 5, 6, & 7 (7-12 years old) / AquaTech (13 years old & up)
8:30-9:30 am
9:30-10:30 am
10:30-11:30 am

NEW WORLD HOTEL, MAKATI
Monday & Wednesday / Tuesday & Thursday


AquaTots (2.5 – 3 years old)

2:00-2:30 pm
2:30-3:00 pm
3:00-3:30 pm
3:30-4:00 pm
4:00-4:30 pm
4:30-5:00 pm

AquaPALS (3 years & up)
2:00-2:30 pm
2:30-3:00 pm

AquaKids 1 & 2 (4-6 years old)
2:00-2:45 pm
2:45-3:30 pm

AquaKids 3 & 4 (4-6 years old)
3:30-4:15 pm
4:15-5:00 pm

AquaKids 5, 6, & 7 (7-12 years old) / AquaTech (13 years old & up)
2:00-3:00 pm
3:00-4:00 pm
4:00-5:00 pm

**Schedule for Ortigas area to follow

 

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