Nanaimo Riptides Swim Team

Olympic Way​​​​ Swim Program

Program Registration

Participation, Fun, Success – the philosophy that works!

CHILDREN LEARN TO SWIM BETTER, FASTER —  Our program’s content, methods and skilled teachers and coaches ensure children learn to swim faster, learn more skills, and learn more rapidly than in any other program.

Olympic Way FAQs


Why choose Olympic Way?​​​​​​​



What makes Olympic Way different from other programs?


How do I know which Olympic Way program to register in?


When are the Olympic Way lessons?​​​​​

5 years + This progressive 3-level program teaches swimmers 54 important water skills, and focuses on seven major skill progressions: butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle, water safety, entries and turns.  Swimmers learn to put together whole skill-sets, one step at a time.  All Nanaimo Riptides Olympic Way programs are at the Beban Pool.

Levels 1, 2 and 3


Level 1  Orientation to Water

Establishes the foundation for the acquisition of swimming skills. Athletes in this level will develop the fundamental skills needed to learn to swim.

● Minimum 5 years of age to a maximum of 7yrs.
● Comfortable entering water and able to fully immerse head        under water
● Able to stand on bottom of teach pool
● Can work safely in a group structure, listen and take            directions from coaches.

Skills learned:
● Entry and immersion
● Buoyancy and floatation
● Submersion and breath control
● Movement in the water
​​​​​​​ ● Propulsion through the water

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Level 2  Skill Development

Swimmers in the group will continue developing fundamental body positions, kicking in proper body lines, introduction to breaststroke and rhythmic breathing while swimming. 

●    Minimum 5 years of age to a maximum age of 8yrs
●    Has completed Olympic Way Level 1 or equivalent          experience
●    Comfortable kicking on front and back
●    Able to swim 25 metres unassisted
●    Able to kick 50 metres
 ●  Can work safely in a group structure, listen and take            directions from coaches

Skills learned:
●    Streamlining - propulsion
●    Basic strokes – free, back, intro breaststroke, dolphin kick 
●    Specific skills – submersion, underwater push-offs, treading water, introduction to diving
●    Transition to deep pool

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Level 3  Skill Improvement

Improves all four strokes by focusing on the fundamental body position, kicking and improving the rhythm of arms. Swimmers will build endurance in both kicking and swimming as well as build on diving and turn skills learned in level 2. When swimmers finish this level, they will have the skills necessary to be safe around water & ready to advance to the competitive  program. 

●    Minimum 5 years of age to a maximum age of 9yrs
●    Has Olympic Way Level 2 or equivalent experience
●    Comfortable swimming in the 50 metre (deep pool)
●    Able to swim 50 metres unassisted
●    Able to kick 100 metres 
●    Can work safely in a group structure, listen and take            directions from coaches

Skills learned:
●    Major focus - breathing and stroke timing
●    Stroke Improvement – free, back, breast, fly
●    Introduction to turn skills
●    Basic diving skills 
●    Building endurance

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Beyond the lessons.....


Swim Skills 1 Group  Skill Refinement

This is our entry level competitive group designed to introduce the swimmers to the exciting world of Competitive swimming. The primary focus will be the continued development of skills in all four strokes, starts and turns. Swimmers are now able to attend both club and regional level swim meets. Swimmers will be required to attend a swim meet between September and December, one between January and March and one meet between April and June. We will be evaluating swimmers' level in December and March for possible group movement. 

Entrance Requirements:
♦Completion of Olympic Way 3 or an equivalent ability 
(200 continuous kick and 100 continuous swim)
Contribute positively and function safely within a group structure
♦Listen and take directions from NRST coaches
♦The desire to compete regional level swim meets

Group Goals:

Complete 50s of Fly, Back, Breast and Free in accordance with SNC rules 
Complete 200 IM in accordance with SNC rules 
Complete 200 FR in accordance with SNC rules 

Skills learned:
♦Stroke drills – focus on skill refinement (acquirement & building) and stroke enhancement
♦Endurance building
♦Goal setting
♦Diving skills

Required Equipment:

♦Team shirt, team cap, goggles, kickboard, pull buoy, fins, water bottle & proper suit (no bikinis or board shorts)

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Blue & Gold  Meet

Once each session the club hosts Blue and Gold night which is a fun team event where swimmers in the Olympic Way program and the Swim Skills 1 group showcase their swimming.  It is a great way for young swimmers to experience a mini swim meet in the comfort of their home pool. 
Here is a bit more information about Blue and Gold night and what happens!

This is a chance for Olympic Way Level 1, 2, 3, Swim Skills 1 swimmers (and us parents!) to see and experience how a swim meet runs. It is also a chance for you to see your child’s successes! For our older swimmers, it is an opportunity to learn how to set up, time and organize a swim meet.

The Blue and Gold event will be separated into 2 sessions. This way the younger swimmers do not have to wait for long periods of time before their next swim event. Swim Skills 1 and Olympic Way Level 3 swimmers will be swimming from 4pm - 5pm (arrive at 3:45pm) Olympic Way Level 1 and 2 swimmers will be swimming from 5:15pm - 6pm (arrive at 5pm)

For those families with siblings, Swim Skills 1 and Olympic Way 3 swimmers are welcome to swim in the wave pool after their event between 5pm & 6pm. Please note on the declaration (sign up) if your swimmer is staying to swim during that time so that we know how many swimmers to submit payment to the City for. Also note that the free swim is only available to swimmers age 7 and above as the City of Nanaimo requires all swimmers entering the pool on their own to be at the age of 7 years and older. 

Make sure you pack a couple of towels, or even a housecoat as the swimmers have to wait in between swims.  Wearing a pair of flip flops or Crocs helps to keep them warmer, too.  Feel free to send a water bottle and some light snacks for your swimmer to eat in between swims.  When you arrive, bring your swimmer and their gear to the bleachers by the office under the “HOME OF THE NANAIMO RIPTIDES” sign.  Find your Level flag.

The coaches will assign your swimmer a Heat and Lane number, and will write the info on your swimmer’s hand so they don’t forget!  Heats are the groups the swimmers swim in.  Lane numbers are #1-8, with Lane 1 being in front of the office.  If you forget, the lane numbers are on the blocks (the things the kids jump off at the start of a race, by the diving boards).  Each of the Level 1 and 2 swimmers will swim with a big buddy who brings along a kick board in case your child needs a break!  Most swimmers do not need it, but the kick board is there if they want it!  Swimmers can also wear a life jacket if they want to!

Parents are asked to sit on the opposite bleachers and cheer from there!  Our coaches and older Junior & Provincial group swimmers will help the Level 1-3 swimmers figure out when and where to go, as well as do all the timing!  The swimmers will go in this order:
Level 1, 2, 3, Swim Skills 1 kick
Level 1, 2, 3, Swim Skills 1 freestyle
Level 1, 2, 3, Swim Skills 1 backstroke

We have all the swimmers do their length of kick first, then their freestyle swim and finish with their backstroke   For example, if you have a Level 1 swimmer, they will be in one of the first heats, then go back to the bleachers and wait until all the rest of the levels swim that same stroke.  Then your Level 1 swimmer will do their freestyle swim, go back to the bleachers, watch the rest of the kids swim their freestyle, and finally your Level 1 swimmer will complete their backstroke.  At the end of the Level 1 and 2 swimmer’s backstroke, the swimmers will head to the coach's table to collect their event time sheet and prize. Olympic Way swimmers that have completed their current registered Level will be honored at the event with a medal and certifcate.

The distances of the swims are different depending on the level of the swimmer.
Level 1 and 2 do 25m kick, 25m freestyle, and 25m backstroke, (one length of each)
Level 3 does 50m kick, 50m, freestyle, and 50m backstroke, (two lengths of each)
Swim Skills 1 will do 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke

That is how the Blue and Gold event should go!  The number of heats is dependent upon the number of swimmers that come.

​​​​​​​Read More


About what level to register your swimmer in
Schedule a free, no obligation swim assessment
Riptides office: 250-714-1800
Assistant Head Coach email: ​​​​​​​


About registering, scheduling or withdrawal

Riptides office: 250-714-1800
Office Manager email: ​​​​​​​


About your account, balance or billing
Weekdays 3pm to 6:30pm from October to June
Riptides office: 250-714-1800
Office Manager email: ​​​​​​​