Flying Fish Aquatics
We’re committed to you.
It used to be that women and girls weren’t encouraged to swim. And African-Americans were often denied access to public swimming pools.
Access to swimming is an important part of our YWCA history.
We actively reach out to children in our community who don’t know how to swim, don’t have access to lessons or can’t afford the cost. And as a lead partner in Evanston Swims!, we provide free swim instruction to every 2nd grader in Evanston Public Schools.
We’re committed to honoring our inclusive history by ensuring our aquatics program is welcoming to everyone. Because everyone should learn to swim. For life!
- Flying Fish Swim School
- Swim Team
- Masters Swimming
- Aqua Aerobics
- Open Family Swim
- Lap Swimming
- Pool Parties
- Evanston Swims!
The YWCA Flying Fish Learn-to-Swim program offers quality swim classes for every level of swimmer from toddler to advanced. Parent/Tot Swim Lessons are available for children ages 6 months through 2 years and are designed to help parents teach their children basic skills while discovering the joys of water together. Beginning levels are taught in our warm water pool and classes are small, providing lots of time for individualized instruction.
Download PDF of Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 schedule here.
The Flying Fish Swim Team was founded in 1994 and has grown to include more than 400 members. It includes all types of swimmers, from those who are not yet ready for swim meets to those who compete at a national level. Our head coach, Pete Caragher, has been with the program since its founding, and the majority of our coaches have been part of the program for 10 years or more. They love what they do.
Why try out?
The primary goal of tryouts is to determine if a swimmer is ready for the team or if he/she might benefit from a session of swim lessons before joining the team.
The secondary goal of tryouts is to determine which swim team group is most appropriate for the swimmer. There is a place for every swimmer at the Flying Fish.
Who should try out?
Any child who is not currently part of the Flying Fish Swim School or Flying Fish Swim Team but is interested in joining the team should try out.
What happens at tryouts?
Swimmers will be asked to swim freestyle and backstroke across a 25-yard pool. They also may be asked to demonstrate breaststroke, butterfly, turns, and diving to the best of their ability.
Where do tryouts take place?
Tryouts are held at YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s pool.
How do I schedule a tryout for my child?
Contact Aquatics Director and Head Coach Pete Caragher at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-864-8445.
The Flying Fish Masters swimming program is designed to help adults improve their swimming skills. Flying Fish Masters put their skills to use in triathlons or swim meets, but the majority swim simply for the health of it – whatever your goal, we’d love to help you reach it. Come fine tune your fundamentals and get a work-out too!
September 30, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
$360 to YWCA and $55 to Flying Fish for season
$15 Drop-in Fee
Discounts: 50% discount off YWCA fee for each additional adult family participant (spouse, sibling, etc.)
Any questions? Please contact us at 847-864-8445 or email email@example.com.
Are you new to Masters? Not sure you want to commit?
For those of you who might be new to the program, please come try out a couple practices and see if we’re a good fit. For anyone totally new to a practice setting, we recommend attending an evening or midday practice if possible while you’re getting used to things. Most swimmers on the team attend 2 or 3 practices a week with the goal of improving their swimming and fitness, while working out with a fun group of people. Whatever your ability or goals are, there will be others in the same category and we are happy to work with you to feel at ease and comfortable during practices.
To learn more, email Flying Fish Aquatics or contact us at 847-864-8445.
Join us for Aqua Aerobics, which is designed to improve cardio-vascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility. All exercises are performed to music in our pool, minimizing stress and impact on muscles, joints, and ligaments. Classes are ongoing.
8:30-9:30 am Monday through Friday (ongoing)
10 dip $70.00
20 dip $130.00
30 dip $165.00
Register in person at the front desk. Contact Flying Fish Aquatics (847-864-8445) for more information.
Download PDF of Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 Aquatics Schedule here.
Our pool is open for family swim from September – May during the following hours:
- Saturday, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
- Sunday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Fee (payable at the front desk):
$10 per family per visit. Families with children in Flying Fish Swim School may buy a $60 pass for the family for each 8 week session.
Parents must accompany children in the water, regardless of age and ability level.
Contact Pete Caragher, Director of Flying Fish Aquatics, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-864-8445.
Guarded lap swimming for adults (15+) is available year-round in our 25-yard, 5-lane pool. Seasonal schedules are as follows:
Monday through Friday, 7:30 – 8:30 am
Monday through Friday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Summer (ends mid-August):
Wednesday mornings, 7:30 – 8:30 am
Monday through Friday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Daily Adult: $7.00
Daily Senior (60+): $6.00
10-dip Adult: $60.00
10-dip Senior: $50.00
3-month Adult: $105.00
3-month Senior: $95.00
Download PDF of Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 Aquatics Schedule here.
Our pools are available for rental:
- Saturday, 4-5 pm
- Sunday, 1-2 pm
- $140 for one hour pool rental
- $80 for one hour room rental
To reserve, please contact us at 847-864-8445 or email@example.com.
We know that there are a large number of children in our communities who do not know how to swim. A survey of Evanston families revealed that just 17 percent of first graders were proficient swimmers. Almost a quarter had no swimming experience — a basic and vital life skill for any child, especially living in a lakefront community.
Evanston Swims!, a partnership between YWCA Evanston/North Shore, McGaw YMCA, and District 65, seeks to remedy that need by providing all second grade children in Evanston with free water safety instruction and swim lessons. On District 65’s early dismissal days once a month, second graders whose families choose to participate in the program are bussed to YWCA Evanston/North Shore (or to Three Crowns Park, which provides additional pool space to YWCA) and to McGaw YMCA.
Seven lessons during the school year isn’t enough time to teach most kids how to swim well, but it is enough to provide essential water safety skills. It also gives us an opportunity to evaluate the kids who need extra support so we can continue with them when the year is over. While Evanston Swims! is limited to Evanston second graders, full and partial scholarships are available through the Oswald Roper Memorial Fund for families who want to continue, but cannot afford the cost of swim lessons.
Donations to Evanston Swims! may be sent to YWCA Evanston/North Shore (be sure to include “Evanston Swims! Fund” in the memo line) at 1215 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201.
What makes our swim program special?
- Consistency: our swim lesson instructors and swim coaches are professionals, almost all of whom have been with us for many years
- Character: our coaching methods and objectives reinforce life lessons that apply in and out of the pool
- Community: we are a part of a mission-based not-for-profit organization. We believe that every child should learn to swim, and we reach out to members of our community whose children might not otherwise have that opportunity.
Our swimmers and their families are likewise compassionate and committed – each year the swim team raises close to $100,000 to support the programs and services of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, funds that flow right back into making our communities better places to live for all our members.
We have two pools – a cool, deep water pool and a warmer, shallow depth pool. Both pools are used for lessons.
Generally, beginners and younger swimmers are in the shallow pool for lessons and more experienced swimmers are in the bigger pool, but when it’s appropriate we may switch pools so that children gain experience in both swimming environments.
Lap swimming and aqua aerobics are in the deep water pool. Both pools are handicapped accessible.
The girls’ locker room is in the northwest corner of the first floor. The boys’ locker room is in the basement; and there is a small family changing room in the basement. Boys five and under who are accompanied by a parent or caregiver may use the girls’ locker room; and girls five and under who are accompanied by a parent or caregiver may use the boys’ locker room. Both girls’ and boys’ locker rooms have lockers (you provide a lock), showers with liquid soap, and bathroom facilities. Anything you don’t lock up you should keep with you.
All of our instructors have 5-15 years of training and experience, and each is certified in CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguarding. Instructors are sometimes assisted by older swimmers on the swim team.
At our beginning levels, there are five swimmers per instructor. In groups where children are
swimming more independently, there are five to seven swimmers per instructor.
Other than a bathing suit and towel, equipment needs are few! Caps and goggles are not necessary, but are useful. If your child has long hair and doesn’t want to wear a cap, please tie their hair back from their face. If they are reluctant to put their face in the water without goggles, you may want to purchase a pair. Goggles are always available for purchase at the front desk.
Please have your child use the bathroom (though it is normal for them to need to go again during class). Enter the pool area from the doors off the shower area of the locker room – a coach on deck will show you to your class and instructor.
Parents are welcome to stay on the pool deck, but it is not recommended that you talk to your child or sit close to their class. Their instructor will speak to you if they need assistance.
If your child is 6 and under and you need to leave the building during their lesson, please let your child’s instructor know.
Pool deck rules
No food, drink, or outside shoes are allowed on pool deck.
We use flotation bubbles on new swimmers for safety. We also occasionally use them for more independent swimmers as an aid to developing proper swimming mechanics.
Swimmers always get a little free time at the end of class. Though you may be tempted to leave, try to stay – free time is a great period for relaxed exploration in the water.
Exiting the pool area
Upon leaving the pool, swimmers must access the locker rooms by walking through the big pool area. (Health regulations
require that you enter and leave the pool area through the shower area.)
We have a paved parking lot on the south and west sides of the building, and have overflow parking in the unpaved parking lot at the back (north side) of the building.
Parking in the lot at the YWCA is free and open to anyone who is using our facilities. Most of the time, finding available parking in our lot is not a problem. Only during the most popular swim lesson times and during occasional swim meets does it get difficult.
We are always in the process of exploring how to make parking easier. We limit the number of children in our classes based on parking, but still there are times it can seem crazy (on Saturday mornings and during occasional swim meets). If you know it’s always like that when you’re at the YWCA, you may want to save yourself the hassle and park on Asbury, just one block away.
As of Fall I 2018, our make-up policy will allow for one free make-up lesson and one paid ($5) make-up lesson per session. Make-ups will be during off-peak hours, normally between 3 – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. If more lessons are missed because of illness or unforeseen circumstances, we will prorate or credit for future sessions when applicable. Make-ups must be scheduled 24 hours in advance, and paperwork/payment must be filed beforehand at the front desk.
If we need to cancel a class, we’ll either credit you for that class or try to schedule a time to make it up.
Registration is online until 1 day before a session begins. After that time, you must register in person at the front desk.
Pre-registration for a swim school session is open only to those swimmers currently enrolled. Pre-registration generally begins 2 weeks before open registration.
Open registration is for all swimmers not currently enrolled (whether or not you have taken swim classes at the YWCA in the past). Because many of all of our classes fill up at the most popular times, you may not get the day and time you choose.
We will call you to let you know whether or not you got into the class (or classes) of your choice. If you didn’t get into your preferred class, we’ll let you know which classes are open.
If you are new to lessons at the YWCA, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 847-864-8445 to determine what level would be appropriate for your child.
If your child is 8 or older and is not swimming at an age-appropriate level, you are encouraged to enroll him/her in private lessons to get up to speed.
This is an organization that truly meets people where they are in their lives, whether it’s our swim program or our domestic violence program. When you walk in the door, we say “How can we accompany you? What can we do to help you move forward?”