Whether you are 9 months or 90 years old, there is a program for you offered in the Chicago Park District. The Chicago Park District is responsible for 26 indoor pools, 51 outdoor pools, 15 pools in schools, 36 Sports 37™ locations with 42 apprenticeships, and 26 miles of lakefront including 23 swimming beaches plus one inland beach.
Aquatic classes and programs are offered for numerous age groups and skill levels that begin in the fall and continue through mid-May. Summer programs are offered mid-June through mid-August. These classes include: Tiny Tot Learn to Swim; Parent and Child Learn to Swim; Youth, Teen and Adult Learn to Swim; Junior Lifeguard; Swim Team; Water Polo; and Aquatic Exercise. There are classes designed specifically for seniors, such as Water Walking, and many pools offer a swim club for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. In cooperation with the USA Swimming Foundation and its Make A Splash™ initiative, we are working to spread awareness of the importance of Chicagoans learning how to swim by increasing programs at each pool location.
Advanced training and competition are offered in our group swimming and water polo clubs for youth and teens. Athletes in our competitive programs participate in local, regional and national competitions. Our water polo club is the four-time Midwest Zone qualifier for the National Speedo Cup Tournament and recently sent three teams to the Junior Olympic tournament in July 2009. Swimmers on the swim club have qualified for competition as members of the Illinois State team and for the zone championships. Members of these clubs have also had the experience of attending clinics with Olympians and former Olympians where they have developed advanced skills and learned about goal setting as well as an athlete's need for proper health and nutrition. Summer aquatic specialty programs are offered in swimming, water polo and junior lifeguard, a program that trains youth to be future lifeguards. Opportunities for expanded programming are planned for kayaking, SCUBA, sailing and synchronized swimming.
Chicago Park District aquatic instructor staff is certified by the American Red Cross in Water Safety, Lifeguard Training, CPR / AED, First Aid and Sport Safety Training. Instructor staff is also certified in Aquatic Exercise, with plans to expand this certification. There are more than 300 year round aquatic staff that help deliver the community programs and maintain the safety of pool facilities. Aquatic instructor staff also trains and recertifies field aquatic staff in all facets of aquatics as well as CPR, First Aid and AED. All 1,000 seasonal and year round lifeguard and instructor staff is recertified annually.