Bye For Now, Outdoor Swimming: 7 Sports that You Can Do in the Water this Winter
If you're still lamenting that summer is over, looking back over the pictures from your family trip to the summer cottage, you're not alone. We don't want to jinx it, but it's an inevitable Canadian truth that snow is on the way, and the window for outdoor swimming has long closed. However, snow and rain doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to the water!
The fantastic thing about water sport today is that it’s not just confined to the summer months. Most Canadian communities now have access to indoor pools, many equipped with programs for young water enthusiasts of all interests. Watersport is a diverse field of athletics, ranging from racing to judged sports and beyond. We hope that reading this article will give you some background knowledge about water sport and what the options are when it comes to both adults and children.
Swimming lessons by organizations like Red Cross are a classic method of learning the basics of water safety and developing skills required to have fun in the water. Swimming lessons are a great way for youngsters to have their first, second, or later experiences with water. At its base, swimming is a survival skill. In the case that one should accidentally tumble into the cold embrace of a lake, pond, stream, or backyard pool, being comfortable in the water can be a lifesaver! Speaking of Lifesaving…
A relatively new sport, competitive lifesaving is making its mark on Canadian athletics. Lifesaving is unique in that it is, at its core, a selfless sport. Competition in this sport stems from lifeguards seeking to refine their skills, enhancing their ability to react to emergencies with efficiency. By definition, lifesaving requires a little more experience than some other water sports. However, Red Cross programs naturally lead towards lifeguard certification, presenting both the opportunities for a career in lifesaving and elite competition!
Racing, pure and free. Among the most-watched sports at every summer Olympics, competitive swimming is a great setting for developing competitive spirit in a team environment. Competitive swim clubs have an entry point for all kinds of swimmers, from five years old to twenty-five years old. Competitive swimming emphasizes dedication and self-drive, and lets athletes develop friendly rivalries and strong friendships, raising-up and pushing one another to become the best athletes that they can be.
Tough, aerobic, and packed with short bursts of frightening speed, water polo is the ‘hockey’ of the pool. The rules are fairly simple. Two nets, one ball, the most goals win. Polo players develop excellent skills for treading water and maneuvering in the ‘deep end’. Water polo is among the handful of team sports that can be played in the pool, where participants learn communication and teamwork. Water polo clubs also have entry points for many kinds of swimmer, ranging from fun and exciting games for youngsters to recreational and competitive games for adults.
We might have been a little premature when we said that Water Polo is the ‘hockey’ of the pool. Usually played in shallow-water pools, underwater hockey is played on the bottom of the pool using a short stick, or pusher, and a plastic-coated, lead puck. Competitors wear fins and snorkeling gear, allowing swift, underwater movement and the ability to watch play from above while recovering their breath. Since play happens underwater, non-verbal communication is emphasized, adding an interesting dimension to the development of teamwork and discipline.
Aesthetically, synchronized swimming is one of the most beautiful water sports. Swimmers in this sport can start at any age and skill level, and develop skills including excellent breath control, treading water and highly efficient sculling technique. Synchronized swimmers also develop incredible rhythm and consistency through the practice of over and underwater choreography.
Fast, precise, falling from one to ten metre boards and platforms, diving is the pinnacle of precision. The movements which seem to happen in the blink of a spectator’s eye require divers to develop unmatched core strength and body awareness. This sport is the perfect way to blend gymnastics with love for the water. Diving is a great way to get kids comfortable in the water by developing courage and commitment. Diving clubs have great programs for both children and adults, so there is an entry point for any who are interested in starting up!