Fewer pools open this summer means swim lessons are harder to book

By  | 

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Summer swim lessons started Tuesday at Idlewild Park. This year, it's one of just two pools where the City of Reno is offering swim lessons this season.

That's two pools fewer than usual. Traner Pool is closed due to vandalism and the one at Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center is shut down because of renovations. Even though more sessions have been added at Idlewild and Northwest pools, the City of Reno says it still can't meet the demand for swim lessons.

"Unfortunately, with two pools down, it does limit our ability to teach up to a certain degree," says Kathy Kelly-Ballinger with the City of Reno Parks and Recreation Department.

She says parents who are unable to book a session this summer should check out other city's pools because she believes every child should learn how to swim.

"Unfortunately drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 12.
So getting your child used to the water is very, very important," says Kelly-Ballinger.

In Sun Valley, more classes have been added at the Robert and Norma Fink Pool Complex. A two-week session costs $40 per child. The aquatic supervisor says they try to keep lessons affordable so that every child can learn how to swim.

"Knowing that your children have the know-how and skills to protect themselves, I think is really important," says Brandon Lacow, Aquatic Supervisor at the Sun Valley pool.

The City of Sparks has two pools that offer swim lessons, but they're filling up quickly. The first session is already booked up.

Trish Koch, a mother of eight, makes sure her kids are signed up for lessons as soon as they're old enough.

"It's such a priority just for safety," says Koch. "And they're more secure around any type of water, whether it's the river, a swimming pool or a lake. At least they've got those fundamentals so they're not afraid and they've got those basic skills."

Washoe County also offers lessons for kids at Bowers Mansion. It costs each child $40 per session.