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City’s aquatics program makes its splash on June 17
• City offers swim lessons for kids through adults, summer programs
Swim lesson.jpg
The city of Ceres annually provides swim lessons in the Ceres High School pool starting in June. This was a photo taken during 2014 swim lessons, with Kirpa Gill receiving instruction from Maureen Nelson.

The summer aquatics program offered by the city of Ceres will kick off on Monday, June 17 at the Ceres High School pool.

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, June 17 to Thursday, June 27, and Session II runs Monday, July 8 to Thursday, July 18, while Session III is held Monday, July 22 to Thursday, August 1. All lessons run 30 minutes.

Cost is $45 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 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 six 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 seven 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.

Adult swim lessons are also offered for those 13 and older and meet at the following times: June 17 to 27 from 3:10 to 3:40 p.m. and another session that runs 6:40 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. Sessions for July 8-18 and July 22 to Aug. 1 follow those same meeting times.

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.

Aquatic camps

The city is also offering an aquatics camp for children.

Water Polo Camp will be held June 10-14 as an introduction to the sport of water polo with participants learning a variety of skills including: passing and shooting drills, dribbling, treading water, field and body positioning. The camp is for those aged 11 to 15. T-shirt and certificate included in price of camp. Sessions will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $75 per person.

The city’s Junior Lifeguard Camp is designed for kids aged 11 to 15 years of age, and allows all participants to acquire hands-on experience in all areas of lifeguard skills. The camp is offered 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 1-3. Cost is $75.

A 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. Six-week sessions are offered 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Mondays, June 17-July 29 and costs $30; and another one that meets 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 17 to July 29 with a cost of $60.

Open swim sessions

The city’s Open Swim program allows the public to cool off in the pool on specific Fridays and Saturdays through the summer from 12 noon to 4 p.m. The cost is $2 per children and $2 per persons. 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. Concessions (excluding sodas) will be available.

Day camps for kids

A number of Day Camps for children will be offered at the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building, corner of Ninth and Lawrence streets and will run Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

Ceres Summer Camps are specifically designed for the creative and active needs of children 5 (and have completed kindergarten) through 13 years old. All campers participate in fun activities based upon the selected theme of the week. Campers will rotate through programs throughout the day such as: art projects, sports, cooperative games, music, dance, camp songs, walks and swim lessons. Two daily snacks provided. Parents need to pack a daily lunch for the camper.

Themes include “Bugs,” June 17-21; “Wild West,” June 24-28; “Around the World,” July 1-5; “Hawaiian Hullabaloo,” (July 8-12); “Olympics,” July 15-19; “Safari,” July 22-26; “Superheroes,” July 29-Aug. 2; and “Under the Sea,” Aug. 5-9. All camps are $120 per week.

Adventure Camp will be held at the Ceres Community Center’s Arts & Crafts Room with mini themed camps filled with art and crafts for children aged 5 to 12. Campers bring their own lunch. This camp costs $90 per week and a $20 materials fee will be given to the instructor on the first day of class. Classes are offered 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 10-14, June 24-28, July 15-19 and Aug. 5-9.

Youth fitness classes

The city is offering a host of youth fitness classes.

Seven-week Kidz Love Soccer classes will be offered at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park on Hatch Road at four different times June 21 to August 2. Cost is $62 and shin guards are required. Classes focus on helping kids aged 2 to 10 develop large motor skills, socialization, and good sportsmanship through skill demonstrations and fun, age-appropriate games. These build self-esteem while developing core soccer skills like dribbling, passing, and shooting. For class cancellation status call 1 (888) 372-5803.

Four-week Tennis for Beginners classes will be offered by the staff of Academy of Tennis. Held at Ceres High School’s tennis courts, the class will teach 6- to 17-year-olds the basic fundamentals of tennis including, forehand, backhand, serving, the return of serve, volley, and overhead smash. Additionally players will learn strategy and tactics for singles and doubles play as well as match play and drills. Classes cost $35. Four sessions are offered: 12 noon to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 15 to July 6 for 6- to 11-year-olds; 12 noon to 1 p.m. Saturdays July 20 to Aug. 10 for 6- to 11-year-olds; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 15 to July 6 for 11- to 17-year-olds; and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, July 20 to Aug. 10 for 11 to 17-year-olds.

Dance fitness classes

Steps Dance Studio will be conducting 11-week Dance Fitness classes at the Ceres Community Center from May 25 to Aug. 10 for those aged 2 to 17. Classes include ballet, hip-hop/jazz and hip-hop. Cost is $70.

Also at the Community Center, the USA Elite Gymnastics staff will conduct Preschool Gymnastics for 3- to 4-year-old; Gymnastics Stars for 5- to 7-year-olds;  Super Gymnastics for 7- to 9-year-olds; and Gymnastics Elite for 10 to 15-year-olds. Cost is $45. The four-week classes will be offered once a week at different times.

Skyhawks sports camps

The Skyhawks organization will be offering the following sports camps this summer:

• Flag Football Camp for 7- to 11-year-olds at the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park, offered June 24-28 and costs $105. Participants will learn skills on both sides of the football – including the core components of passing, catching, de-flagging and defense – all presented in a fun and positive environment. Please bring a water bottle and a few snacks. Wear appropriate clothing and running shoes. All participants receive an award certificate, Skyhawks t-shirt and ball.

• Basketball Camp for 7- to 12-year-olds at Central Valley High School June 24-28 and July 29-Aug. 2. Cost is $119. This fun, skill-intensive program is designed for beginning to intermediate athletes. An active week of passing, shooting, dribbling and rebounding makes this a popular program. Boys and girls will also learn vital life lessons such as respect, teamwork and responsibility. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and gym shoes; bring two snacks and a water bottle. All campers will receive a Skyhawks basketball and t-shirt.

• Volleyball Camp for 9- to 14-year-olds at Central Valley High School July 15-19. Cost is $119. All aspects of the game are taught through drills and exercises that focus on bumping, setting, spiking, hitting and serving. This camp is designed for the beginning to intermediate player. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and gym shoes; bring two snacks and a water bottle. All campers will receive a Skyhawks volleyball and T-shirt.

• Mini-Hawk Camp at Ceres River Bluff Park’s soccer field. This multi-sport program was developed to give 4- to 7-year-olds a positive first step into athletics. Sports are taught in a safe environment filled with encouragement and fun. Through games and activities, campers explore balance, hand/eye coordination and skill development at their own pace. Participants should wear appropriate clothing and running shoes; bring two snacks, a water bottle, and sunscreen. All children receive an award certificate, Skyhawks t-shirt and ball.

Hoopsters Basketball

Registration ends Aug. 16 for the nine-week co-ed Hoopsters Basketball League for children in first through eighth grades. Kick-off starts Sept. 28 with games starting Oct. 5. Cost is $80.

The city is also offering arts and crafts classes that may be viewed online at and clicking on the Recreation button and then going to the Activity Guide.

Scholarships are available for Ceres families who meet income requirements. Approved applicants will be eligible for a maximum award of $75 per fiscal year (July-June). If approved, funds must be used within a six month period from application approval date. Applicants will be required to pay any remaining participation fees not covered by scholarship funds at the time of registration.

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.