Health & Wellness
International swimming lessons
by Mathew Towers | March 30, 2017

Flipping your fins, you don’t get too far…BUT.

The ability to swim is something that it’s easy to take for granted once you have it. Swimming and other water sports are a huge part of our culture, especially in the summer where we can lounge by the pool with friends on a hot day.


While many of us look forward to spending time in the pool or lake this summer, myself included, this isn’t the reality for many of Humber’s international students. In many countries around the world, the concept of swimming for fun is entirely foreign. They don’t build public pools so their only chances to learn to swim are in a lake or the ocean.

Not being able to swim can not only leave you feeling left out, but it can also be quite dangerous. This was made all too real last year – after one of our own Humber international students tragically drowned in a lake in Brampton. Something had to be done.

Swimmers group photo

The associate dean of the school of hospitality, recreation, and tourism approached IGNITE President, Ahmed Tahir with an idea in light of the tragedy. Collaborating with the Humber North pool, and the International Centre, the project would work on teaching interested international students how to swim.

A big part of it for some students from certain countries is trying to learn and integrate into the culture, says Ahmed Tahir, IGNITE President. Academics are important, and so are many other things, the social aspect is huge, especially when coming alone to an entirely new country.

Ribbon Cutting

Imagine going to a new country where you don’t have any friends and don’t understand the culture. For some it might be exhilarating but for many it can be quite lonely. Learning to swim in this case is not only an important skill, but an opportunity to socialize, make friends, and learn more about Canadian culture.

From IGNITE’s perspective it is always good to be flexible with funding and support, because every now and then important programs like this appear. IGNITE is putting money towards the program so that the first group of students can take part at a highly subsidized cost.

Entering Pool

The project begins Wednesday March 29th. The lessons will take place for one hour once a week for nine weeks.

If you have any questions about the program itself, you can contact Anke Foller-Carroll who coordinated the program at

Check out our events page to see what other events and initiatives we have coming up!