Marshall Area YMCA seeks swim instructors

MARSHALL — Summer is just around the corner, and with it a busy time of year for swim lessons. However, it also poses an important challenge for the Marshall Area YMCA: recruiting swim instructors.

Right now, the Y currently has a good number of lifeguards, “But swim instructors are scarce,” said Matt O’Neal, director of sports, recreation and aquatics at the YMCA. This spring, the Y has been trying to get the word out about instructor recruitment in a variety of ways from social media to a local job fair, he said. But without more instructors, it will be tougher to schedule swim lessons in the busy summer season.

Currently, O’Neal said, the Marshall Area YMCA has only one certified swim instructor, plus two additional non-certified staff who can help with instructing. Having around 15 to 20 instructors would be ideal, he said.

“I forsee this being a bigger issue in summer,” when swim lessons are held daily instead of a couple days a week, O’Neal said. Summer swim lessons start June 4.

There are more requirements to becoming a swim instructor than there are to become a lifeguard, including an online prerequisite course and completing a two-day instructor certification course, O’Neal said. He said he hoped to have a training course on June 2-3. The YMCA can also assist with the cost of prerequisites, he said.

“The Y is really well known for their swim lessons,” O’Neal said. “It’s a huge contribution to the community,” and one that flows from the YMCA’s core values, he said. The Marshall Area YMCA is looking for good quality instructors, who take pride in what they do, and who understand the Y is a place for people to grow and learn, O’Neal said.

“I invite people to come and inquire” about becoming a swim instructor, O’Neal said. He encouraged interested people to contact him at 532-9622 or for more information. Applications can be filled out online or in person, he said.