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With Red Cross ending swim lessons, Surrey partners with Lifesaving Society in pools

More than 1.2 million Canadians take Lifesaving Society courses every year
Swim lessons offered by Lifesaving Society. (File photo)

With the Red Cross discontinuing its swim lesson program in December, the City of Surrey has found a new partner to deliver such programs.

Starting in January 2023, the city’s swim lessons will be offered through the Swim for Life program operated by Lifesaving Society.

The program has been run nationwide for many years, the city notes in a news release, and “focuses on teaching participants of all ages to be safe in and around the water as they enjoy our pools, lakes and beaches.”

The Red Cross has worked closely with the Lifesaving Society to facilitate a smooth lesson transition, the city’s recreation department says.

If currently in swim lessons in Surrey, including the adapted program, you’re urged to review the lesson transition grid to see what Swim for Life level you will be registering for, or contact one of Surrey’s aquatic facilities to find out when the best time to be assessed for your level will be.

Adapted lessons will be integrated into the Swim for Life program. The new model has participants fully integrated into a class with other swimmers of the same age and skill level.

The Lifesaving Society has trained Canadians to be lifesavers since 1896. Over 1.2 million Canadians take Lifesaving Society courses every year.

The organization provides “drowning-related research that drives our program content and public education messaging which is provided to affiliates on a regular basis,” the city says.

The city’s swim-lesson website ( says that due to a shortage of lifeguards, swim instructors and aquafit instructors, only a limited amount of aquatic programs can be offered right now. “Your continued patience is appreciated as we work towards hiring & training staff to restart normalized operations.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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