Kirk Marks, Managing Director of AISS talks to Time Out Kids about SWIMTIME, a new dedicated learn to swim centre in Al Quoz.
Give us the lowdown, Kirk
SWIMTIME is Dubai’s first dedicated indoor climate controlled Learn to Swim Centre with full disabled access. It has an Italian designed Myrtha Pool with special sanitized protection on all surfaces and it includes a soft rebound floor - the first in the entire region, which makes it ideal for lessons and AquaFitness and AquaExercise. We use special Zeolite filters which offer the most advanced filtration possible, ensuring optimal water quality at all times. We opened the facility at the end of May so we have only been operating for a month or so.
What age range do you cater to?
All ages. Babies as young as six months in the Parent and Baby classes all the way up to smaller kid, teenagers and adults, regardless of swimming ability. We also hold exclusive evening sessions for men only and for ladies only.
What makes SWIMTIME different to other classes on offer for kids and families?
The AISS Swim Programs combined with the SWIMTIME unique environment, where the air temperature is always within two degrees of the water temperature allows kids and adults to learn in the best possible environment, all year round regardless of the season.
What’s on offer for kids and how are the lessons/classes structured?
Most AISS classes are small groups with a maximum of four children per class. Classes are offered throughout the day allowing the very young to have early morning classes and school children to have theirs later in the day. Adults can then have classes in the evening.
Who teaches the classes and what are their qualifications?
All our staff are trained by Australian International Sports Services and AUSTSWIM – which is the leading body for teaching swimming and water safety in Australia and a world class innovator.
How do you deal with kids who have a fear of water?
We take a careful, nurturing approach at SWIMTIME and practice patience and care with all our swimmers. If they are scared of the water or worried about getting out of their depth we can develop special programs (for kids and adults) that will ensure they overcome their fears and learn how to safely enjoy the water.
How do you make the lessons fun and engaging for smaller kids?
The staff are trained to ensure that all lessons are fun and rewarding, regardless of the age of the participants. The biggest issue we have with kids in particular is that most of them don’t want the lessons to end! I think that is a real testament to the teachers and the program.
Is there a membership program in place or can parents pay per class?
Parents and kids can pay a one-off registration fee and then book a program at SWIMTIME. Programs range from five lessons up to an entire term of 10-14 Lessons.
What do kids need to bring to the centre when attending a class?
A comfortable swimming costume is essential along with a towel and goggles.
Is there anything we didn’t cover?
Yes, the SWIMTIME Learn to Swim Centre offers special access, programs and facilities for disabled children and adults. This covers individuals with learning issues through to those who are in a wheel chair and need assistance at all times. We have a full ramp, a full disabled platform lift to the pool area and a fully submersible chair pool lift that assists the person entering the pool.
Block of 10 classes starts from Dhs1000 for kids plus a registration fee of Dhs200 per annum. SWIMTIME Learn to Swim Centre, Street 4b, Al Quoz, opposite Bounce. For more information visit the website www.aiss.com or call 04 321 1848.