Winnipeggers are used to picking up almost everything at the neighbourhood mall. Soon their shopping list can include swimming lessons for the whole family.
Come early 2022 , families will be able to book swimming lessons at Aqua Essence, which is opening a private swim training centre at 4-1585 Kenaston Blvd., in SmartCentres Winnipeg at the intersection of Kenaston and Lindenwood Drive East.
Aqua Essence Swim Academy founder Rishona Hyman has long taught classes in backyard pools and at hotels across the city and said she’s excited that she will soon have her own space. She believes a private centre will free families from the frustration of trying to find space in programs operating at the limited supply of public pools.
"For years, demand for swimming lessons has far outstripped what the city can provide," Hyman said."Our own growth as a company has been limited due to lack of public swimming space. The city is closing pools these days, not opening them. We’re happy to help reverse that trend."
Aqua Essence will feature a stainless steel, L-shaped, 1,500-square-foot pool that will be custom installed later this year by a team from the Czech Republic. She said it will be the first of its kind in Manitoba and only the third in Canada. Stainless steel pools are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and the United States.
Hyman said swimmers will benefit from smaller class sizes in a pool with shallow and deep ends to make it comfortable for people with different levels of experience in the water. Those waiting for them will be able to watch the sessions from a large viewing area.
"The viewing area is all windows and you’ll be able to see the pool from all angles," Hyman said.
"We’re very excited about that."
When arriving for lessons, swimmers will enter a universal dressing room with a general lockup area before changing in private rooms. If they forget something, Aqua Essence will have them covered, as an on-site shop offers towels and other related merchandise. Following the session, hungry swimmers will be able to get a snack at the grab-and-go snack area.
Hyman has taught lessons for 20 years and has worked with people across the age spectrum. Aqua Essence teaches from its proprietary Ready, Set, Swim! curriculum and from the Canadian Red Cross curriculum. Students will also be able to take babysitting, lifesaving and first-aid training.
"We want to make sure it’s a really pleasant experience and we want to get more people swimming safely," Hyman said.
"Our goal is to get as many people as possible into the pool and talking about water safety, preventing drownings, and training future young leaders."
Community correspondent - East Kildonan
Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at email@example.com