fbpx
CLOSE

Looking for Something?

CAN Swim Transitions to Lifesaving Society Model

November 8, 2022

At Canucks Autism Network (CAN), we believe that every child, youth and adult on the autism spectrum has the right to play sports. And that includes the joy of being in the pool!

Being confident in the water can open up a wide range of recreational opportunities for our participants – from family vacations at the lake to competitive swimming. And in beautiful BC, where we’re surrounded by lakes and oceanfronts, swimming skills can be lifesaving.

As we prepare for our upcoming winter season next year, we have an important announcement.

Beginning January 2023, CAN swim will transition from its alignment with the Canadian Red Cross to the new Lifesaving Society format.

This is a move endorsed by the Canadian Red Cross, as they phase out of their delivery of swim programs nation-wide. So what does this mean for CAN programs?

You can still expect the same high-ratio of participant support. And, of course, the same level of enthusiasm that our staff and volunteers bring to the program each session!

Much like the previous Canadian Red Cross format, the Lifesaving Society focuses on water safety in addition to swimming skills. In particular, their curriculum emphasizes Water Smart® Education and Swim to Survive® skills.

Not sure which CAN swim program to register for? Refer to our transition table below!

Current CAN Swim
Under Canadian Red Cross
New CAN Swim
(Starting Jan 2023)
Under Lifesaving Society
Skills Required & Taught
Swim (3-6yrs) Preschool Swim (3-5yrs) Skills Required: For kids just starting out

Skills Taught: Safe entries, surface support, underwater skills & movement/swimming skills

Swim 1 (7-12yrs) Swimmer 1 (6-12yrs) Skills Required: For kids just starting out

Skills Taught: Safe entries, surface support, underwater skills & movement/swimming skills

Swim 2 (7-12yrs) Swimmer 2 (6-12yrs) Skills Required: For kids who can jump into chest-deep water by themselves or deep-water wearing a lifejacket

Skills Taught: Focus on opening eyes & holding breath underwater, floating, kicking & front/back gliding

Swim 3 (7-12yrs) Swimmer 3 (6-12yrs) Skills Required: For kids who can jump into deep water and do a sideways entry wearing a lifejacket

Skills Taught: Focus on supporting self at surface for 15s, whip kicks in vertical position, swimming 10m on front and back

Swim 1 (13+yrs) Youth & Adult Swim (13+yrs) Skills Required: For youth & adults who are just starting out

Skills Taught: Safe entries, surface support, underwater skills & movement/swimming skills (equivalent to LSS Swimmer 1)


Key transition takeaways:

  • The previous 3-6yrs age group is now offered only to 3-5yrs.
  • The previous 7-12yrs age group has been expanded to 6-12yrs.
  • Please refer to the skills column above to determine which level to register for.*
  • Previously completed Canadian Red Cross levels can be carried over to the new Lifesaving Society format.**


*It is the parent/guardian/participant’s responsibility to sign up for the correct level. If a participant has not been placed correctly, our ability to transfer them into the appropriate level once the season has begun will be subject to program availability. If space is not available in the appropriate level, the participant will have to removed from the program.

**If a participant had previously completed CAN Swim Level 1, they can register for the new CAN Swimmer 2 program.


After benefiting from adapted instruction at CAN, Linden took her skills & confidence  to City of Surrey swim lessons to obtain her Canadian Red Cross Level 3 badge! Read Linden’s story >

Beyond CAN swim:

Like the previous Canadian Red Cross model, the Lifesaving Society delivers instruction beyond the Swimmer 3 level.

We will continue to provide standardized report cards that allow CAN participants who are ready to transition out of our programs.

With your Lifesaving Society Swimmer 1, 2 or 3 report card from CAN, you’ll be able to transition to typical swimming lessons at your local community centre.

This past year alone, our certified CAN swim instructors taught over 650 participants across BC.

We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!

Ready to dive in? See which CAN swim programs are being offered in your community in the Winter 2023 Program Guide!


Further reading

Meet the Program Coordinator Team: Julia, Laurel, Donne & Katie

CAN removes diagnosis barrier for youth & adults

CAN Swim: Stepping stones to success

BLOG HOME