Mahaska County YMCA Swim Programs Offer a Mix of Fun, Physical Activity, and Safety

Water Babies 2014

Water Babies 2014

[Oskaloosa, June 6, 2014] – As swim season begins to hit full stride, the Mahaska County YMCA encourages children and parents to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety at the forefront. In the Y’s swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

“Swimming is a fun and enjoyable activity for children and adults alike, and it’s an easy way to stay physically active and improve strength, flexibility, and stamina,” said Ryan Harkema, Sports, Fitness, and Aquatics Director at the Mahaska County YMCA. “Our YMCA is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible for everyone to swim and learn water safety practices.”

The Mahaska County YMCA encourages parents to take an active role in their child’s safety. The following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:

· Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.

· Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.

· Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

· Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.

· Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation, and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons around sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches.

As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has been a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety for more than 120 years. The Mahaska County YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident, and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose from, including swimming lessons for all ages, water aerobics, stroke clinic, Dolphins Swim Team, and more. We also provide scholarships to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate; financial assistance is available to those in need to help cover costs.

To learn more about the Mahaska County YMCA’s swim programs, please contact Ryan Harkema at 641-673-8411,

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