A Chance to Swim in Iqaluit

(Photo Featuring: Mike O'Connor, General Manager, NorthMart and Kaitlin Coleman, Aquatics Program Manager, The City of Iqaluit)

A total of 140 youth in Iqaluit can now participate in swimming lessons thanks to a grant from the Healthy Horizons Foundation, a foundation associated with Northern/NorthMart stores. The $10,000 grant was recently approved to help support the City of Iqaluit Swim for Life Program.

Swimming is an important skill that is not always taught at an early age. The low number of child involvement in swimming programs has been a growing concern in Canada. The Lifesaving Society estimates that half of children in our country never take traditional swimming lessons. This can be due to a lack of outside support, resources or financial means. The problem is even more acute in Iqaluit where the city has been without a pool for quite some time. 

The grant has enabled youth to have an opportunity to take swimming lessons where they may not otherwise get a chance. The aquatics team has now been enabled to engage Iqaluit schools in the Lifesaving Society’s Swim for Life program. The program helps youth develop core swimming skills, improve endurance, and build camaraderie with their peers. Certified instructors guide participants through an interactive, fun and engaging skills development experience.

The Swim for Life program is designed to engage youth at different ages and a wide range of abilities. Basic lessons can show students how to hold their head under water. More advanced lessons can help participants refine advanced stroke techniques. Regardless of skill level, the program provides a healthy challenge for growth on an individual basis.

The impact of this program is quite significant, considering the potentially lifesaving skills that children are now acquiring. In addition to the lessons on swimming, the program also provides education opportunities to help students make smart decisions when in, on and around water and ice.

Healthy Horizons is accepting grant applications with a submission deadline of January 31, 2018. To be eligible for funding, a community or organization must either be a registered charity in Canada, or otherwise registered as a “qualified donee” as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada).