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At Charles River Aquatics, Swimming Lessons Teach Multiple Life Skills

By S. Mathur

At Charles River Aquatics (CRA), swimming lessons teach multiple life skills: water safety, sportsmanship, fair play and respect for others. They may also just save your life.

"Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths among young Americans," Chief Operating Officer Jeff Fiore said. "Many children don't get properly trained in water safety and swimming. Learning how to swim is very important and could save your life."

Classes teach water safety, and help children and adults to develop motor skills, fitness, attention to detail, focus and determination.

"Learning how to swim well gives you a hobby and comfort around the water that you can share with others," Fiore said. "And let's not forget the most important reason...swimming is FUN!"

While all classes and swim camps are great fun for kids, the focus is on teaching correct technique. Class sizes are capped at four, so each child gets individual attention from the instructors.

"The main difference between our program and others is we aim to develop not just basic water skills, but competitive swimming technique in all of our swimmers," Fiore said. "We use progression based methods to make swimmers efficient in all four strokes by the time they graduate from our program. Many of our swimmers share the goal of being on a swim team, which we also offer."

There are classes for all ages and levels, beginning with the Tiny Tot class that introduces infants with the water. For adults there are classes for aquaphobes and at the other end of the scale, for those who want to train for triathlons and the Charles River Masters team. Elite swimmers can join the Charles River Aquatics Dragons, which is a year round USA Swimming club team. There are also swim camps in the summer for school age kids.

All new swimmers have an evaluation which places them in the correct level, ranging from Level 1 to 7. All swimmers are required to wear swim goggles, as these increase confidence and safety in the water.

Charles River Aquatics offers classes at two locations, at the Boston University and Simmons College pools. It also owns the state of the art, portable, Olympic sized 50 meter pool that was used for the 2012 USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, and hopes to move it to the Boston area in the near future.

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