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TORONTO – Swimming Canada is proud to launch a new collaboration with Bell and the Lifesaving Society that will bring water safety training to deserving community groups at the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials.
Swimming Canada will be offering a special edition of the Lifesaving Society Canada’s Swim to Survive program, presented by Bell, giving underserved populations the opportunity to learn essential swimming safety skills.
The program will be offered every day of the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials, March 28-April 2, at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. More than 250 participants will learn how to survive an unexpected fall into deep water during a 90-minute lesson delivered by certified Lifesaving Society instructors.
They will also receive a Speedo starter kit, and meet Olympic medallist Brent Hayden, who will be on site for each session to discuss the importance of swimming. After each session participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a meal, and cheer on Canada’s top swimmers competing at the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials. Series participants will earn a commemorative medal to celebrate their achievement and commitment to becoming water safe.
Groups will include middle school and high school students, and families connected with organizations such as Malvern Family Resource Centre, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and Boys and Girls Club Scarborough.
“Swimming Canada is committed to bringing water safety training to those who may not otherwise have access. Learning to swim is a fundamental skill for all Canadians and through our partnership with Bell and the Lifesaving Society, we are proud to help our communities be safe around the water,” said CEO Ahmed El-Awadi.
“We are excited to bring our collaboration with Swimming Canada to life at the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials. This special edition of the program aligns closely with our Bell for Better initiative and our desire to help build better communities and help provide access to programs that have the potential to make a real impact,” added David Kennedy, VP Brand & Sponsorship at Bell.
The Lifesaving Society estimates half of Canadian children never take traditional swimming lessons – even though swimming is the second most popular activity (after bicycling) in Canada among children between 5 and 12 years old.
“Basic swimming ability is a requirement of any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning as most people who did drown never intended to go into the water. If everyone learned to swim, or at least learned to Swim to Survive, the number of drownings could be reduced by half. Bell’s support in bringing awareness to the Lifesaving Society Swim to Survive program is an important first step in keeping Canadians safe around the water,” said Wendy Schultenkamper, Director of Operations at Lifesaving Society Canada.
Swim to Survive is not a replacement for swimming lessons, but an important first step to teach the essentials needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. The Lifesaving Society strongly encourages parents to enroll their children in swimming lessons.
“Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre is pleased to be able to participate in hosting this special Swim to Survive experience in addition to the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials. Providing this opportunity in our community aligns perfectly with our community strategy to meet the physical activity priorities of the neighbourhoods served by the Centre,” said the Managing Director of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, Robert Singleton. “Thereby fulfilling our mission to be recognized for providing world-class experiences in sport and recreation, for all, for life.”
Tickets are on-sale now for the 2023 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials through Ticketmaster ( and all the action will be streamed live on and the CBC Gem app.