After School Program

Bellevue After School Swim Groups

Penguin Aquatics offers training and practice groups for children ages 5+ who can swim 25 yards unassisted and are able to follow a coachʹs instructions.

Children are placed into groups based on a combination of several different factors, including ability level, age, commitment level and physical and emotional maturity. Coaches will place swimmers into appropriate groups, and when it is time, will initiate a discussion with the swimmer and his or her parents about changing group levels. Swimmers may move group levels at the beginning of each month.

As the season progresses, the skill level of each group will increase, and thus group boundaries are somewhat fluid. Since coaching is done to the highest abilities in the group, swimmers changing groups should be prepared to encounter new challenges. For the benefit of all swimmers,  adjacent group levels occasionally will do the same workouts, so swimmers will get a chance to experience what happens at the next level.

Our levels are:

Little Blue - Beginner

Adelie - Advanced Beginner

Rockhopper - Intermediate

Magellanic - Advanced

Gentoo - Senior

Yellow-Eyed - National

About the Little Blue Penguins Group

The Little Blue Penguins training group is designed for young swimmers with little or no prior competitive swimming experience.  Swimmers should be able to complete 25 yards of both freestyle and backstroke prior to joining this group.  The minimum age for this training group is 5 years old.  Swimmers are encouraged to enter USA Swimming meets.

The Little Blue Penguin, so named because of its blue fur on its head and back, is the smallest species of penguin. Found in Australia, the Little Blue Penguin is a highly social animal.

Practice Hours

Little Blue Penguins Practice three times per week for 45 minutes, for a total of 2.5 hours per week. It is recommended that swimmers attend at least 2 practices per week.


  • Develop basic technical skills and build good practice habits
  • Swim a legal 100 IM
  • Execute proper flip turns
  • Bi-lateral breathing with proper body positioning
  • Compete in a meet
  • Have fun!

About the Adelie Penguins group

The Adelie Penguins group is for swimmers who have successfully completed the requirements of the Little Blue group. Swimmers at the Adelie level can complete all 4 strokes legally and are ready to complete practice sets, as well as continue to work on technique through drills and focused practice. Typical age range for this group is 7-10 years old.

The Adelie penguin is a small, very social penguin found in Antarctica. While the Adelie frequently looks like it is playing around, it is just using its body in fun ways to become more efficient. The PAQ Adelie group has a lot of fun while learning body awareness and control in the water.

Practice Hours

The Adelie Penguins practice four times per week for an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. It is recommended that swimmers attend at least three practices per week.  Up to 5.25 practice hours are offered per week.


  • Understand and use the pace clock for training sets
  • Improve aerobic endurance
  • Execute quality turns and breakouts
  • Learn how to swim sets with different levels of effort
  • Achieve times at the PNS Gold level
  • Have fun!

About the Rockhopper Penguins group

The Rockhopper Penguins group is for swimmers who have successfully completed the requirements of the Adelie group. Swimmers are ready to complete sets of longer distances, and understand how to swim with different levels of effort and intensity. Typical age range is 9-12 years old.

The Rockhopper Penguin, a native of Antarctica, is easy to identify by the colorful feathers on its head. Like the 4th-7th graders that make up the core of this group, Rockhoppers have behaviors (such as hopping across rocks rather than walking) and ways of social interaction that appear peculiar to those outside of the group.

Practice Hours

The Rockhopper group practices five days per week for one and a half to two hours. It is recommended that swimmers attend at least four days per week.  Up to 8.5 practice hours are offered per week.


  • Improve technical skills (stroke mechanics, starts, turns)
  • Build aerobic and muscular endurance
  • Qualify for PNS Champs
  • Have fun!

About the Magellanic Penguins Group

The Magellanic Penguins group is for swimmers who have successfully completed the requirements of the Rockhopper group and are ready to take full ownership for their practice efforts. Sets are increasingly harder in duration, distance covered and intensity. The typical age range is 11-14 years old.

The Magellanic Penguin, a medium-sized penguin from South America, is a fast and skilled swimmer.

Practice Hours and Fees

The Magellanic Penguins practice four times per week for an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. It is recommended that swimmers attend at least three practices per week. Up to 12 hours of practice time are offered per week.


  • Improve aerobic endurance
  • Develop the ability to self-evaluate and take ownership for practice effort, paying attention to stroke count, stroke rate and practice set times
  • Final at PNS Champs and qualify for Age Group Regionals

About the Gentoo Penguins Group

Gentoo swimmers have several years of age group swimming experience, are self-motivated and have long-term personal goals in the sport. The typical age range is 13-18 years old.

Gentoo penguins are the fastest species of penguin, with swimming speeds up to 22 miles per hour. Natives of Antarctica, they are incredibly streamlined, are adept at holding their breath, and have excellent endurance.

Practice Schedule

The Gentoo Penguins practice five days per week for two and a half hours per practice, plus up to 4 additional hours of practice time on the weekends.  It is recommended that swimmers attend at least five practices per week. Up to 16.5 practice hours are offered per week, including 2-3 practices combined with the Yellow-Eyed Penguins.


  • Improve technical proficiency and distance per stroke
  • Swim efficiently without splashing or slapping
  • Continue to take ownership for practice efforts and “hidden training” elements (nutrition, hydration, sleep)
  • Qualify for Age Group Regionals, Senior Sectionals and Junior Nationals
  • Develop commitment to future competition in the sport

About the Yellow-Eyed Penguins Group

The Yellow-Eyed Group is our national training group. Swimmers must have a USA Swimming Jr. National cut to join this group.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is the rarest species of penguin, found only in New Zealand. The Yellow-Eyed Penguin is also the most solitary species of penguin. Like the Yellow-Eyed Penguin, a swimmer at or above the Junior National level is rare, and training at this level requires a great degree of self-discipline, independence and the understanding that to achieve success at the highest level, a willingness to swim fast without having someone to push them is essential.

Practice Schedule

The Yellow-Eyed Penguins practice seven days per week. Practice times will vary based upon swimmers' strengths and goals. At this level, swimmers will need to make a full-time commitment to the sport of swimming, at the expense of participation in other sports. Please contact us for more details about the practice schedule and pricing for this group.


  • Qualify for Nationals and Olympic Trials
  • Earn a spot on the US National Junior Team