Swimming pool season is officially here. With school out and temperatures rising, public swimming pools are filling up with adults and children who are learning how to swim or just relaxing under the sun in water.
Like 6-year-old Amanda Fusco, who clutched her teacher’s hand as she stood at the side of the pool Saturday at the Scottsdale/ Paradise Valley YMCA.
Learning to jump into a pool is one of the skills students in the beginning swim class, called Polliwogs for 6-to 9-year-olds, learn at the center at 6869 E. Shea Blvd., instructor Sherisa Victory said.
"She’s scared to jump," said Amanda’s mother, Melissa Fusco, in a New York accent while she watched from a bench in the shade.
Amanda shrieked as she jumped into the glittering 85-degree water.
The Fuscos, who are Scottsdale residents, moved here about nine months ago from Long Island where it’s easy to forget how to swim because there’s only three months to practice, Fusco said.
She wanted Amanda to brush up on her basic swim skills, learn the various strokes and "so she can save her own life — you don’t want to become another statistic," Fusco said.
Meanwhile, more advanced swimmers were training to become lifeguards at Chaparral Pool, 5401 N. Hayden Road. The teenagers decked out in board shorts, flip-flops and T-shirts that said "Scottsdale Lifeguard" learned how to become pool instructors.
Final preparations were also being made for the reopening of Chaparral Pool for Saturday afternoon. The pool was closed for about 18 months for renovations, said Jona Davis, aquatic coordinator, adding that public swimming pools are no longer just a place for adults to drop off children.
"You don’t have to be a swimmer to come here anymore," she said.
Parents can sit in a shallow part of the pool and pools aren’t just for swimming laps, Davis said.
At the city’s most popular pool, Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center, 2301 N. Miller Road, Los Angeles resident Gerardo Regin, 37, slathered sunscreen on his son, Fabian, 10. They were visiting family in Scottsdale.
Fabian’s face was covered in the white lotion as he waited to get into the pool. Several kids dashed by on the hot pavement while a few near the kiddie pool practiced their cannonballs.
"It feels a little uncomfortable," he said, but he didn’t seem to mind too much as he disappeared into the throng of people in the water.