Categories: Features

QSaltLake’s ‘Make it Better’ spotlight: QUAC on!

The Adult Learn To Swim Program is a “self-care” program offered by the Queer Utah Aquatic Club that started in early 2017. The QUAC’s Lane 1 class takes inexperienced swimmers through the basics of freestyle and backstroke. Swimmers meet three times a week for one hour. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-noon.

Three coaches volunteer each week on a rotating basis allowing swimmers different teaching skills and techniques to adapt to a variety of learning styles. Coaches then add progress details to each swimmer’s profile. Once a swimmer has passed the five basic Red Cross Competencies and had the basics of at least freestyle they can move up to the Lane 2 program.

“We allow new swimmers to come drop in at any time in the program. We tend to adapt to individual swimmers ability and learning speed to give each one the time and encouragement they need,” says Jake Adams, a Lane 1 program coach.

“The QUAC ALS program was welcoming and made me feel comfortable, and they are now my good friends,” says student swimmer Yutaka Yanase. “At first I worried how long I would last in the program, but since day one, I’ve been going every week. QUAC is one of the best things to happen to me.”

Another student, Marysol Almestica, adds, “ When I started the ALS Program it was a step toward self-care. Friends who heard about the program suggested it, and after the first practice, I immediately realized it was something I wanted to pursue. I love the program.”

“People come for different reasons, and we try to adapt, but the biggest success is people becoming comfortable in the water, and with the basics get independence they can use around water the rest of their lives,” Beginner Coach Ben Webb says.

Webb also states that it’s QUAC’s mission to get people involved in aquatics.

“Recreation in and around water is popular, which can be dangerous without knowing swimming basics, Webb says. “The fewer accidents in and around water the better. Also, learning to swim opens the door to a new form of exercise — running and lifting aren’t for everyone.”

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