by Bruce A. Smith
Kinder Swimmer, the brainchild of Leona Day and Carrie McCarthy, is offering specialized swimming lessons to area residents at its indoor pool in Spanaway, along with regular swim sessions.
Kinder Swimmer representative Kelsey Potter attended this week’s Graham Business Association and told the group her company wants to be a strong member of the local business community, while also providing aquatic fun and quality instruction to area children.
The Spanaway pool is filled with saltwater and a minimum of chlorine, and is located on 160th St, just west of Pacific Ave – about halfway between the new Spanaway Elementary School and Spanaway Lake Park.
During a recent visit, owner Leona Day described her program.
“We teach kids to become strong swimmers, ones who love the water and respect it,” said Leona Day. “We specialize in helping fearful kids, from toddlers to teens – anyone who’s never learned to swim or is anxious around water.”
Day iterated the list of familiar childhood phobias: fear of putting one’s face in the water, or being unable to touch the bottom.
“First, we help them relax; that’s why we heat the pool to 92 degrees,” Day explained. “We want the kids to be comfortable, not shivering. Then, we coach them through their fears. All of our instructors are adults, and our teaching methods are very hands-on.”
Day described her program as very methodical, with the repetition in instruction and exercise designed to build the confidence of the swimmers and lower their anxieties. In addition, Kinder Swimmer uses swim belts, a soft, foam floatable support, with beginners to give them an extra assist in staying on top of the water.
“Kids can start taking lessons at anytime, and at any age,” Day said. “We start teaching toddlers as young as three months old; but here at the Spanaway pool we have a lot of young teens, too – eleven, twelve, and thirteen.”
Kinder Swimmer offers a flexible program where children are grouped according to ability and generalized age. Families with four or more children can also schedule the entire pool for their 30-minute session. “We also block time for home-schoolers or other youth groups,” Day said.
Because of this specialized instruction, Kinder Swimmer says that they can teach a child to swim three times faster than in a typical public pool program.
Kinder Swimmer currently operates four pools, with two in Maple Valleyand one in Renton besides Spanaway. In total, they have 650 children enrolled currently, and have been in business for ten years.
“My business partner and I love swimming,” Day said with a laugh. “Carrie has four kids and I have three, and since we both live right on the Cedar River, just a few houses apart from each other, our kids were always swimming together. So, it was natural to start this business together, too.”
For more information, Kinder Swimmer in Spanaway, (253) 536-SWIM (7946), and www.kinderswimmer.com .
© 2011 The Mountain News – WA