By Martin J. Kidston
Aquaman never had to learn to swim like this, but most youngsters gain their water-wings supported by a swim instructor who, in the balmy, chlorinated aroma of an indoor pool, demonstrates the proper way to hold ones breath under water or float on ones back.
Summer swim lessons are under way at the Havre Community Pool, sponsored by the Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. From beginning swimmers, who have yet to set toe in water, to seasoned schooners learning safety and rescue, the local pool has it all and offers kids the chance to get wet.
In water nearing tropical warmth, kids ranging between four to eight years old cling to the wall, learning to flutter and kick, to jump in and, above all, that water really isnt that bad. Some bear a smile, others grimace, but in the end they learn to swim.
Swim instructors Chris Porter and Carla Holmquist keep the kids afloat, towing them through the pool like slow trawlers in a no-wake-zone while offering the commands kick, kick, kick.
This was a level one water exploration class, Porter said when all the kicking was done. We teach the kids how to get used to the water, how to move around, stuff like that.
Using backboards, the luck of the shallow end and patience, Porter and Holmquist bring water confidence to kids at a young age.
I like the fun things the kids do, Porter said. They like to show you some pretty crazy things.
Holmquist, whos learning to teach kids to swim, said the pool was looking for substitute swim instructors. She took the bid and enjoys being in the water with the students.
I like the kids who are smart and really get into the class, Holmquist said.
Havre Parks and Recreation offers a variety of swim classes at the community pool. From level one learn-to-swim programs to level eight, the classes come complete with personal instruction and prove to be a swell way to beat the summer heat.