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July 22, 2:00 pm

Aquatic Lessons after COVID-19: Learning and Leading

Katie Crysdale, Founder, Lakeview Aquatic Consultants Ltd 

In March 2020, Katie Crysdale started the free POOLaide Webinar Series to bring the aquatics industry together during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Over nine consecutive weeks 1,582 people from 10+ countries attended 27 webinars, creating one global aquatic community. Surprisingly, just three short years ago, this event would not have been possible. In this session, Katie will share business lessons learned since joining the private sector as a consultant after leaving her job as a municipal aquatic manager. In Parks and Recreation, we pride ourselves on consistently providing the same service year after year, but maybe a change and a spark of innovation is just what you need to stand out from the crowd. This session will also highlight many of the business and management practices we’ve learned adapting to COVID restrictions.  What things should we continue doing and what should we leave behind forever? 

Katie Crysdale has had a life-long commitment to the aquatics sector. She started as a lifeguard, then instructor, finally moving to be a pool supervisor at the University of Toronto. From there she headed west to be the Coordinator, Aquatic Services in Lac La Biche County, Alberta, and then to the Town of High River as the Aquatics Supervisor. Using her numerous and varied lived experiences, Katie founded Lakeview Aquatics Consultants Ltd where she provides her expertise, learns from the many diverse clients with whom she works, and passionately strives to share her knowledge to help the sector in its efforts toward continuous improvement and service quality.


July 29, 2:00 pm | Pool Re-openings: Considerations and Learnings

Across the aquatic industry, different approaches are being taken to determine what’s best for the customers and community. Operators are opening at different times, in different ways, or not at all. Municipal, non-profit and private service providers are undertaking due diligence in considering what they have been asked or directed to do, how they will or have planned to do it, and what the short and long term impacts of such decisions might be. Hear from a panel of service providers about their plans to reopen splashpads, outdoor pools, indoor pools or beaches and what they’ve learned along the way.   

Moderator: Shannon Scully-Pratt, First Aid, Swimming and Water Safety Representative, Canadian Red Cross

Panel: Beth Fisher, Supervisor of Aquatics, Safety Certifications and Active Kids Programs, University of Guelph; Christine Mitchell, Aquatic and Fitness Supervisor, City of Orillia; Greg Peri, Community Services, Aquatics Coordinator, Town of Aurora; Kate Watson, General Manager, Davina’s Swim School

August 12, 2:00 pm | Re-Imagining Staff Training for More Effective Swimming Lessons

Regardless of COVID-19, effective training for instructors is important and provides long term direction for your organization. The session will introduce how to make instructor trainings more effective and how to build staff skills using techniques such as unified visions and principles around progressions and drills, active practice and realistic instructional training expectations, and repetition and reinforcement. The process of creating specific training goals and embedding a continuous improvement approach to training will also be covered. Lastly, examples of some unique training activities, designed to help swimmers have a better experience, will be shared. 
Steve Benning, Recreation Coordinator, Town of Milton

August 26, 2:00 pmWe Have to Talk – Conquering Our Fear of Difficult Conversations

Think of a conversation you’ve been actively avoiding and putting off.  This may be as a result of COVID-19 or, more likely, is a result of your everyday work life. There are a huge number of difficult, crucial, challenging, fierce, important conversations to be had, as well as an equally high number of resources available to help us navigate these interactions. So, what is holding you back?  This session will cover some of the difficult conversations we tend to avoid, as well as the reasons behind our struggle to start these conversations.  It will explore the challenges and obstacles for conversations, including our newly adopted virtual work and leadership and will provide you with best practice strategies to begin the conversation.  Being prepared is the key to conversations… difficult or otherwise, but difficult definitely!
Jennie Queen, Portfolio Manager, City of Ottawa


September 16, 2:00 pm | Changing Lives: Special Needs Adaptive Swim Training

Swim Angelfish will present an in-depth discussion using video case studies involving three different swimmers with special needs.  In this session you will be introduced to tools that can be used to assess and identify the underlying problem that may cause swimmer to have difficulty engaging with instructor. Further examples will be offered so you can learn to assess and respond to a swimmer exhibiting discomfort and anxiety and, lastly, to a swimmer who may have multiple physical limitations.  You will learn strategies to help you help your swimmers overcome roadblocks as they learn to swim, which will ultimately make your instruction smoother and their experiences more fulfilling and fun.
Cindy Freedman & Ailene Tisser, Co-Founders and Co-Owners, Swim Angelfish

October 7, 2:00 pm | Jump Shots to Streamline: What does basketball have to do with swim lessons? Everything!

This session will discuss methods recreation coaches use to teach children to play a sport and how it applies to teaching children how to swim.  By analyzing videos from multiple swim lessons, this session will focus on the concepts of independence, use of equipment, time on task, repetition, and drill effectiveness.  With the new reality of teaching swimming lessons with COVID-19 requirements and considerations, several different methods will be shared in terms of implementation and effectiveness.
Kelly Martinez, Aquatics Coordinator, City of Phoenix

October 21, 2:00 pm | Leadership – Who’s the Boss?

“Build a team so strong that anyone that sees doesn’t know who the boss is”. One of the toughest challenges for managers and supervisors is to find the right balance between commanding the troops and appearing accessible. Workplaces are changing, and traditional structure a thing of the past. It’s not that the role of ‘the boss’ is disappearing, but perhaps how we supervise has changed. In this session we discuss the difference between title and status and the power each can possess. Tips and techniques to improve leadership skills to help create a more positive workplace culture using the right blend of boss and buddy will also be discussed.
Erin Wilson, Program Manager, Leisure Services Division, City of Estevan


November 4, 2:00 pm

Defining Play in the Aquatic Environment

Dr. Peter Gray, Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Boston College 

Play is a powerful vehicle for children's healthy social and psychological development. “Play" is a word that we use commonly to refer to children's preferred activities and to some adult activities but play can go beyond this definition. In his Keynote Address, Dr. Peter Grey will provide a greater understanding of play as activity, and how that translates to the aquatic environment. He will explain how approaches to play can be intentional and embedded in your existing program planning.  As a research professor of psychology at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education, Dr. Peter Grey will share why play came about, in natural selection, to promote children’s healthy physical, intellectual, social, moral, and emotional growth.

Dr. Gray's recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He is a founding member and past president of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE) as well as being a founding member of the nonprofit Let Grow. He earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia College and Ph.D. in biological sciences at the Rockefeller University.