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Aquatics program resumes for first time since 2019
Dad in CHS pool
The city of Ceres is opening up the summer series of swimming lessons and programs at the Ceres High School pool. One is the pre-school and toddler class which is basically about making youngsters more independent in the water. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

The summer aquatics program offered by the city of Ceres will resume for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic changed life in the world.

The program kicks off last week at the Ceres High School pool. Open swimming is offered Wednesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through Aug. 4; and Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 6. Cost is $2 per person. Children 12 and younger must be supervised by an adult. All participants must wear swimming suits only in the pool. Flotation devices are not allowed, however Coast Guard approved life jackets are.

A team of Red Cross certified staff members will be offering classes at the Ceres High School pool to teach youngsters six months and up how to swim.

Session I swim lessons run from Monday, July 12 to Thursday, July 22 while Session II runs Monday, July 26 to Thursday, August 5.

All eight lessons run 30 minutes.

Cost is $48 per session and includes eight classes. Preregistration is required.

Lessons are for those six months of age and up. Lessons are staged on different levels based on swimming ability.

Parent & Me classes create an optimal and ideal environment for swimmers under three years old. The emphasis of the class is having fun in the water while focusing on water comfort, games, and relaxing in a water environment. Parents (or a responsible adult who is 18 or older) participate and are encouraged to challenge their child’s skills and level of support in the water. This class also focuses on developing a strong skill set in a more goal-oriented environment to help students smoothly transition from being independent in the water to moving safely in the water.

The Preschool sessions are for children aged 3 to 5 years, and emphasize preparing first time or tentative swimmers for group lessons. The goal is for swimmers to gain independence and confidence in and around the water. Instructors will work with swimmers on being comfortable in the water, blowing bubbles, getting their face wet, moving independently in the water, how to safely enter and exit the water, submerging head fully underwater and floating for safety and more.

The Level 1 class is for those five years and up. Swimmers are taught how to progressively move away from the pool’s edge and independently stay on the surface by applying basic swimming fundamentals. Freestyle skills are taught along with flutter kick while floating on the stomach and back. Swimmers will benefit from the small group dynamics led by a caring, competent instructor. Swimmers remain in Level 1 until they can properly demonstrate the general fundamentals of freestyle and backstroke. It is anticipated that children will remain at this level for multiple sessions, as the skills to be mastered are quite broad and varied.

Level II session is for those five years and up and designed to refine the freestyle and backstroke skills learned in Level 1. Side kicking and side breathing are introduced and refined as stroke mastery continues. Elementary backstroke kick and drills will be introduced based on the ability and progressions of the swimmer as well as dives. Swimmers will work toward swimming half of a lap in freestyle and backstroke.

Levels 3-5 hone swimming skills and become better divers and learning breast- and back-strokes.

Level III is for those aged five and older, and designed to enhance and tighten previously learned skills as well as demonstrating proper technique. Swimmers will lay the foundation for more progressive swim strokes. These advanced lessons focus on refining three of the four strokes. Proper breaststroke technique, streamlining with dolphin kick, and new dives will also be introduced.

Level 4 is designed for swimmers at least six years of age to graduate to Level 5 with the skills to freestyle, backstroke, elementary backstroke, and breaststroke two lengths of the pool, demonstrate three dives, and tread water for two minutes. Swimmers will also be introduced to butterfly strokes, circle swimming, and retrieving objects from 12 feet of water.

The Level 5 class, the most competitive level, is aimed at swimmers aged 7 and older who can freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke for two lengths of the pool, and swim butterfly for one length of the pool. Swimmers will learn more competitive skills such as underwater pull downs, relay starts, and block dive entry.

Teen and adult swim lessons are also offered for those 13 and older and meet at the following times: July 12 to 27 from 6:50 to 7:20 p.m. The sessions for July 26 to Aug. meet those same times. Cost is $48 per person.

An Aqua-Fit water aerobics program is being offered for those aged 18 and older and ideal for senior citizens who deal with arthritis. This program stretches and tones muscles using water resistance. Exercising in the water helps your body work harder but allows most aches and pains to be avoided due to the low-impact nature of the aerobic activity.

Session 1 of Aqua Fitness and Aqua Zumba has already started but Session 2 runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 7 to Aug. 5, meeting from noon to 8:15 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. Register online at, in person at 2701 Fourth Street, or by calling Recreation Coordinator Crystel Aguilar at 538-5682 for more information.

The city is offering a host of youth sports classes this summer, including tennis classes, Skyhawks sports camps for basketball, flag football and volleyball as well as gymnastics. In addition, arts and craft classes are offered this summer.

All of the city’s recreation and classes may be viewed online at and clicking on the Recreation button and then going to the Activity Guide.

Pre-registration is required for all classes. Register online at, in person at 2701 Fourth Street, or by calling Recreation Coordinator Crystel Aguilar at 538-5682 for more information.