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Swim Lessons

Marlins Lessons

Welcome to the 2022-2023 season. Fall session Registration opens online September 1st at 7am, link:

The Guelph Marlins are dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for swimmers of all abilities. We aim to improve water safety and comfortability, provide competitive swimming skill development, and offer a fun and exciting introduction to competitive swimming.

Last season was absolutely wonderful to see children back in the water for lessons and gaining new skills and polishing up some old skills after a long period of having no lessons.

We are thrilled to be back again with our lessons program for the upcoming season. Marlins Lessons are eing offered at all levels from L’il Marlins (age 3 +) through Marlins level.

Marlins Lessons is a competitive learn-to-swim program. We offer basic water safety skills as well as the foundational competitive swimming skills. Lessons are available to those as young as age 3. Our Marlins Lessons programs include basic skills such as floating, streamlining, kicking and blowing bubbles. As swimmers progress through Marlins Lessons the skill requirements become more challenging and are focused towards competitive swimming. The goal and entry requirement for each level is outlined below. The overall goal of Marlins Lessons is to introduce basic knowledge, understanding and the ability to swim all 4 of the competitive strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly). We will focus on teaching skills that help swimmers feel comfortable and confident in the pool. Learning how the body moves efficiently through the water is key to success in swimming.

We offer 3 main sessions of Marlins Swim Lessons between October and June; Fall, Winter and Spring. Each session will be 8-11 weeks in length. We encourage swimmers to participate in all three sessions allowing for continual skill development. This season we will also be offering a September and June mini session consisting of 6 lessons over 3 weeks to kick off the Marlins Swim Lessons programming or getting swimmers ready for pre-competitive programming. 

Swimming has been negatively impacted by COVID over the past couple of years. As an organization, the Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club understands many children have been unable to access pools and swim lessons for over a year even though operation began again.  High wait lists and demands have created a greater need for children.  We have increased our lessons capacity by 50% to assist in meeting the demands.  While some children's development may have been delayed, we are confident everyone returning to the pool will have the opportunity to improve and regain skills forgotten over time. Be patient as it may take time for your child to regain confidence in the pool.

The coaching staff for Marlins Swim Lessons consists of instructors certified through various organizations including Swimming Canada, Swim Ontario, Lifesaving Society, and the Red Cross. Staff training, mentorship and learning opportunities are required throughout the year to ensure continued coaching education.

Director of Age Group and Development – Laura Nicholls

The Director of Age Group and Development is a new position this season with the Guelph Marlins. Laura, returning to the Marlins coaching staff for her 6th year, brings 26 years of coaching experience to her new role. She will be managing and overseeing Marlins Lessons as well as several groups within the competitive program. You will see Laura stop by the pool from time to time checking in on the Lessons programs, making sure the swimmers are having fun, progressing, and being challenged as well as coaches are working hard. Laura will be in communication with Marlins Lesson Supervisors,  to ensure all swimmers needs are being met and those ready for the competitive program are presented with the opportunity.

Marlins Lessons Programs

L'il Marlins

L’il Marlins is for swimmers who are comfortable entering shallow water on their own. They must be willing to put their faces in the water and be comfortable trying floats. Instructors are in the water and will assist the swimmers with body positioning. Instructor to swimmer ratio is 1:3 to ensure the safety of the swimmers. Lessons will be 30 min in length. Parents do not accompany their children for this program. 

Mini Marlins

Mini Marlins is for those swimmers that can swim 15m of the pool on their own (underwater, dog paddle etc.). Swimmers must be comfortable entering shallow water without assistance and putting their face in the water. Teachers will be in the water to assist with body positioning and skill corrections. Instructor to swimmer ratio is 1:4 to ensure safety and promote correct skill development. Lessons will be 30 min in length.

Young Marlins 

Young Marlins is for those swimmers who are able to independently swim 25m of the pool using both freestyle and backstroke. Swimmers will focus on proper body positioning, breathing, stroke and kick technique for freestyle and backstroke. Young Marlins will also be introduced to breaststroke and butterfly kick. Instructor to swimmer ratio is 1:5 allowing the swimmers to learn in a small group environment. Lessons will be 45 or 60 min in length depending on the day.

Junior Marlins

Junior Marlins is for those swimmers that can swim 50m of freestyle and backstroke maintaining body position, 75m of flutter kick with a kickboard, and have the basics of breaststroke and butterfly kick. Swimmers will build on skills learned in Young Marlins as well as being introduced to breaststroke and butterfly. Junior Marlins will be focused on getting swimmers ready for competitive swimming. Instructor to swimmer ratio is approximately 1:6 allowing swimmers to be a little more independent while learning in a small group environment. Lessons will be 60 min in length.


Marlins is for those swimmers that can swim 150m of freestyle and backstroke maintaining body position, breath control, streamlines and underwater dolphin kicks. Swimmers also must be able to swim 25m breaststroke, 15m butterfly, and execute a shallow dive with a streamline. Marlins will continue to build foundational competitive swimming skills as well as prepare the swimmers stay on task in larger groups. Marlins swimmers will be preparing to enter the competitive program. Instructor to swimmer ratio is approximately 1:8. Lessons will be 60 min in length.

New to swimming and don't know where you belong?  Contact us at [email protected] and we will set up an evaluation with one of our coaches for free! Takes only 5-10 minutes


Registration will open online for the September Power Session and Regular Fall session Thursday, September 1st at 7am.  

Registration Link:

Registration Costs

  • Program fees are listed in the link under each program.  There is some variability as some programs are 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes. 
  • There is an annual $68.50 which is Swim Ontario insurance that is required by our Provincial body to collect and register your swimmer.  This covers your swimmer from September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023 for any of our indoor pool programming.  This is a once a season charge.  i.e. If you register for Fall you will pay, then you register for Winter you will not pay again.  If you are only in the Spring session, the annual fee is still charged at full price. 
  • Additionally we charge a $15 fundraising fee vs having families have to sell items to raise money.  These help with our operational costs as we have to rent pools from the city/UofG.