Bobbing along the perimeter of the Pacific Park community pool Tuesday, 20-year-old swim instructor Jade Wilia tried to coax her students into a face-down floating position. Gripping the ledge, they stretched their legs behind them and began the flutter kick.
“It is an essential part of swimming, if you can’t kick, you can’t go anywhere,” Wilia said as she moved from student to student, helping them to keep their bodies horizontal in the water.
In the next lane over, 6-year-olds zoomed by, their kickboards propelled by churning legs. But Wilia’s students — who on any given day range in age from mid-teens to mid-60s — are just getting started.
“Remember, try and float keeping your body on top of the water,” she called out.
Adult swimming lessons have been a fixture of the city’s aquatics program since it launched in 2000, said Community Services Supervisor Gabrielle Goglia. Officially, the minimum age requirement is 18, but they accept younger teenagers when appropriate.