How YMCA swim instructors become certified

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) While swimming is a serious skill to learn, there’s no reason why you can’t have fun doing it.

Kids at the YMCA are learning life-saving water skills, but they’re having fun in the process. That’s how swim instructors at the YMCA like to do things.

"They need to be able to transmit their knowledge in a fun way. Instructors need to love kids, like working with them. If you’re not comfortable with kids you cannot do this job because this kid is scared. He’s going to splash you. He’s going to jump on your probably, grab you really hard. So you need to be really understanding, very patient and passionate," said Amina Serir, YMCA swim instructor:

Being a good swimmer doesn’t automatically make someone qualified to be a swim instructor.

"For certification through the YMCA you have to pass an online program. You go over all the important points you need to teach to the kids. And then you have a practical training that takes about 16 hours split in a couple of days. You need to be able to get in the water, practice the skills, you need to be able to swim the four strokes and you need to be able to communicate," explained Serir.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it in the end.

"We want to have a whole future generation able to swim," Serir said.

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May is National Water Safety Month. This story is a part of WDBJ7's Neesey Payne's swim series, where she explores water safety and learning how to swim.