AIKEN --- Don't know how to swim?
Want to learn?
The newly opened Aiken County Family YMCA is giving swimming lessons to residents from babies on up.
Everyone should know how to survive in water, said Katie Lyle, the Aiken YMCA branch director.
"It's my motto that learning to swim should not be an option," she said. "It should be mandatory for every child in America."
If you missed that particular lesson when you were a kid, she stressed, you can still learn as an adult -- and not feel awkward about it.
The YMCA adult swimming lessons are very popular, Ms. Lyle said, and often fill up before the children's classes.
"It's never too late is our mentality," she said.
Three swimming sessions are being held this summer at the facility, which opened in April at the Hitchcock Healthcare building.
The lessons are given in a three-lane, 25-yard-long heated indoor pool, which is shared with Hitchcock Healthcare, 690 Medical Park Drive, close to Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Children are taught the basics, Ms. Lyle said, such as how to get back to the pool wall, floating and dog-paddling. After they've learned to stay afloat, they move on to swim strokes.
Adults are taught differently, she said, because most wish to swim as a form of exercise.
They are taught how to tread water and float on their back, along with other skills, she said.
So far, 90 people have signed up for the classes. "It's a lot more than we thought," she said.
There is no deadline to register, although Ms. Lyle said parents are urged to sign up early so the YMCA knows to have enough staffers on hand.
Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
The next session of swimming lessons is scheduled for June 23 to July 3, followed by a session from July 7 to July 17.
The cost is $50 for YMCA members and $70 for nonmembers. Financial aid is available.
To register, go to the Aiken County Family YMCA at 690 Medical Park Drive in Aiken or visit www.thefamilyy.org.
For more information, call (803) 293-4200.