Aquatics – South Sound YMCA


For every age and ability


From swim lessons for all ages to Olympia Youth Swim team and a variety of aquatics classes, the Y offers something for all. Browse through the options and pick out something new to try.

Swim Lessons are back!


We specialize in progressive, developmentally appropriate water safety and instruction. The Y offers swim classes for infants, toddlers, school-age youths, teens, and adults in classes that are suited to their skill level. At the Y, we believe kids of all ages should have the opportunity to learn how to swim.

  • Swim lessons registration window opens 2 weeks prior to the first day of each session.
  • Priority registration for Family Memberships! The first week of the registration window.
  • If you’re unsure of what class to sign up for, please use our Level Selector.


If you prefer to work one-on-one with an instructor or are looking to focus on a specific aspect of swimming, private lessons are an option. One session consists of four 30-minute lessons; these 4-week session dates will run in conjunction with the group swim lesson dates.

  • Swim lessons registration window opens 2 weeks prior to the first day of each session.
  • Priority registration for Family Memberships! First week of registration window.
  • Semi-private lessons are also available for 2 students to work with the same instructor. This is a great option for siblings!


Learn to save a life at the Y! The South Sound YMCA offers a 4-day course to earn American Red Cross Lifeguard, First Aid, CPR/AED for Professional Rescuer certifications at the Briggs YMCA.

Training Contact: Jackie Barratt – Aquatics Coordinator



The Olympia Youth Swim Team (OYST) is all about competitive fun! Swimmers can accomplish the impossible, learn to believe in themselves, and discover they can do more than they ever imagined. For intermediate to advanced swimmers. All potential new team members are required to try out. Please contact your practice site for details regarding dates and times.

Swim Test Standards

All children 14 years of age and younger must take a swim test each time they visit the YMCA and wish to use the deep end of the pool. YMCA lifeguards will administer the test using the following protocol:

  • Child can jump in the deep end (child does NOT need to touch the bottom).
  • Child can immediately begin treading water without touching the wall.
  • Child can tread water for 30 seconds.
  • Without touching the wall – child can swim to the shallow end using Front Crawl with over arm recovery (arm strokes must be out of the water, not under the water), the face must be in the water for some of this swim with rhythmic side breathing.
  • Swim continuously to the pool wall at the shallow end.
  • Child must exhibit comfortability and safety in the water.
  • Child must be competent using the front crawl with face in the water and arm stroke outside of water.
  • Lifeguards can demonstrate arm stroke and breathing prior to the test.
  • Child can re-take the swim test if they do not pass.
  • Passing the swim test once does not automatically mean the child will pass it every time. Swim skills vary depending upon frequency using the water. Child must exhibit swim skills each visit they are wanting to use the deep end of the pool.

Lifeguards on duty will make the decision based on safety for the child AND for the staff.