After a number of years of being able to register for various recreation programs and camping reservations online, the Town of Altona is adding another online option to the mix with swimming lesson registration. Starting Friday, May 19th at 8:30am, you will be able to register your young one for this Summer's sessions. Registrations will continue to be taken over the phone, as well.

"Our previous website could never facilitate the swimming lesson registrations, there's just a lot of moving parts," explained Recreation Manager Eric Hildebrand. "Now that we've released a new Town of Altona website, this past Fall, part of that was building in a new recreation software component that could handle everything we used to do, but now we can also handle the swim lesson registration."

Hildebrand noted this option has been something residents have been asking for. Along with the new online registration comes the need for families to create an account, something he stressed needs to be done before trying to register.

"The best way for residents to register is to first make an ActiveNet account, and to add their family members to the account, especially the children you are going to be registering," he said.  "There is a link at that will bring people to the recreation area, or one can use this link to get directly to the website page that shows the various lessons available, as well as an area that you can sign up and create an account."

The new online registration isn't the only new thing this year at the Aquatic Centre. Like all pools across the region, and country in fact, Altona is transitioning into the Life Saving Society provided swimming lessons program this year, after the Canadian Red Cross announced last year it would no longer be facilitating swim lesson programming.

"I think we're going to have a lot of people saying, 'Well, if my child was in Red Cross lessons last year, which lesson do they go into this year?' That's where that transition chart we have on our social media sites, as well as our website, it's very clearly laid out," Hildebrand said. "If you have questions in terms of where your children should be registering this year in the new Life Saving Society lessons, please look online at the town of Altona website, the Facebook. Page Instagram these types of things give us a call at the Recreation Office."

Another new option this year is one swimming lesson session being comprised of one week classes.

"Session Five this summer will provide swim lessons in various levels that can be completed in one week instead our traditional two week block," he explained. "We’ve had a lot of requests for this over the years, and our staff worked hard to find a way to offer this in 2023.  Essentially, these one week classes will have students in the water twice a day in order to complete the necessary training, but the time commitment is half of that of a two week class.  As an example, you could register your child for a 10am class of 30 minutes, and another 30 minute class on the same day at 12 noon." 

And the most important piece of information, overall, when will the pool open for the season?

"We're looking to open Saturday, June 3rd, and that will be a free swimming day sponsored by the Town of Altona," said Hildebrand. "There's a lot of maintenance that has already been completed, and more work that we are doing to get ready. That's just a matter of doing some annual cleaning of the entire facility from top to bottom. We have some large pool filters in our mechanical room that require filter changes every few years. This is one of those years, so there's a lot of work that goes behind the scenes to get the facility ready."

The facility's planned Public Health inspection is in late May, with June 3rd as the target date for opening day.

You can listen to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show Co-Host Chris Sumner's conversation with Eric Hildebrand, below.