Aquatics Programs

Year-Round Programs Summer Programs Training
Fitness Classes Learn-to-Swim Programs Junior Lifeguard/Water Safety Aid
Lap Swimming Competitive Swim Team Lifeguard Training
Recreational Swimming Special Olympic Swim Team Water Safety Instructor (WSI)
  Synchronized Swimming  
Employment and Volunteer Opportunities Additional Information
Junior Lifeguard/Water Safety Aid Volunteers Pools and Splash Pads
Summer Lifeguard Employment Aquatics Rates and Fees
  Pool and Splash Pad Rules
  Water Safety

Aquatics Programs

Tucson Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of aquatic programming for children and adults year round such as recreational swimming, water fitness classes, arthritis classes, swim and diving lessons, and competitive and synchronized swim leagues. In addition, we also offer Junior Lifeguard/Water Safety Aid, Lifeguard Training, and Water Safety Aid classes. For more information about these classes, call (520) 791-4245 or see the Aquatics or Adaptive Aquatics program listings on

Year-Round Programs

The heated pools at the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC), Catalina, Clements, and Sunnyside remain open on a year-round basis, offering a variety of classes.

  • Fitness Classes
    Year-round pools offer a variety of fitness classes for adults and children. Offerings include shallow and deep-water fitness classes designed to improve strength, stamina, and stability led by certified instructors for ages 17 and up; fitness classes for children; and classes to teach the basics of lap swimming. In addition, the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC) conducts a year-round program of adaptive aquatics for all ages and disabilities.

  • Lap Swimming
    Lap swimming is offered on a daily basis at all year-round pools during scheduled times.

  • Recreational Swimming
    Recreational swimming is offered on a daily basis at all year-round pools during scheduled times.

Summer Programs

  • Competitive Swim Team
    An introductory competitive swimming program is offered at designated pools for swimmers ages 4-17. Swimmers learn competitive strokes and techniques in daily practices and participate in a series of evening swim meets, culminating in a championship meet in July. Because the program is introductory, it is available to swimmers who have not participated in more advanced programs such as SAAA and USA Swimming. Swimmers must, however, be able to swim 25 yards of a recognizable stroke without stopping on the first day of practice.  Registration for the summer swim team is conducted by selection process at the swimming pool hosting the swim team.
  • Special Olympic Swim Team
    Call the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC) at 520-791-5643 for more information.

  • Synchronized Swimming
    A competitive synchronized swim team program is offered at designated pools for beginning and intermediate level synchronized swimmers for ages 6-17. Swimmers learn synchronized swimming skills in daily practices and prepare a routine for competition in a citywide meet in July. Participants must have basic water skills such as basic swimming strokes and breath control. Registration for the summer synchronized swim team is conducted at the swimming pool hosting the team.


Online applications for summer employment are available online during the first week of December.
Please consult for deadlines and class schedules.

  • Junior Lifeguard/Water Safety Aid Training
    Taught over a period of four weeks beginning in April, this course for ages 13 to 15 teaches swimming, water safety and emergency skills, along with basic rescue and leadership skills. Graduates become eligible to participate in the summer Jr. Lifeguard / Water Safety Aide Volunteer Program.  Participants must attend all training classes in order to graduate.  Recommended for teens with intermediate or advanced swim skills.  Participants must be able to swim 100 yards or a recognizable stroke and swim underwater for 30 feet. Swim test will be administered the first day of class.  This training class is separate from the Volunteer Program.

  • Lifeguard Training
    Swim test will be administered at first class. Trainee must be at least 15 years old before first class. Training includes: American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification and First Aid Basics. Must attend all designated classes to complete the course. Training includes:

    • American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification 

    • First Aid Basics 

    • Swim 300 yards combination of Front Crawl (Freestyle) and Breaststroke, continuous swim, but not timed  

    • Tread water for 2 minutes with hands out of water  

    • Retrieve a 10-lb dive weight from 7 feet deep, surface, and swim 20 yards with the weight, using legs only and exit the pool without using a ladder within 100 seconds. 

    • Swim 500 yards including Front Crawl, Breaststroke, Elementary Backstroke, Sidestroke  

    • 25-yard sprint 18 seconds or less  

    • Tread with 10-lb dive weight for 60 seconds using legs only 

    • Enter deep water and surface dive to retrieve a 10-lb dive weight from 12ft deep and bring it to the surface in 13 sec or less (11 seconds if you dive straight into deep water, but surface dive requirement is preferred)  

    • Swim 25 yards sidestroke while carrying 10-lb dive weight on hip in under 2 minutes (goal time is 1:20 minutes) 

  • Water Safety Instructor (WSI)
    You must have WSI certification to teach swim lessons.  Trainees must be 16 years old before the first class. Stroke and swim skills tested in the first and second class. Trainees should be proficient in the following strokes: Front Crawl, Back Crawl, Breaststroke, Sidestroke, and Elementary Backstroke; basic knowledge of Butterfly is also helpful. CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and First Aid Basics certifications are required.

Lifeguard Training and Water Safety Instructor classes conducted at selected City of Tucson pools certify many of these lifeguards and instructors as well as lifeguards and instructors seeking employment. For questions about training or employment, call 520-791-4245 or 520-791-5352.

Employment and Volunteer Opportunities

  • Junior Lifeguard/Water Safety Aide Volunteers
    This program provides volunteer opportunities for teens ages 13-15 at city-wide pools. Participants gain valuable work experience and leadership skills. The volunteer’s schedule is determined by the site’s needs. All volunteers must have completed the Junior Lifeguard (13 to 15) course. Returning Junior Lifeguards need not repeat the course.

  • Summer Lifeguard Employment

    • Must be 15 years of age by the start of the summer pool season.
    • Must hold current certifications in American Red Cross Lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR/AED.  All certificates must be current at the time of the screening.  Bring all certifications to screenings.
    • Bring swimsuit, towel and required certifications.  Also bring W.S.I. certification (if applicable).
    • Applicant should have knowledge of contact skills, including defenses, approaches, escapes, carries without equipment, ability to turn c-spine victims in deep water, and swim to side 30' without equipment.  Screening consists of rescue skills, swimming, first aid, and CPR in practical and oral interviews. 
    • Attend the City of Tucson Lifeguard Recruitment.
    • Complete the online application.