The Mini Bison program is designed to introduce swimmers to competitive swimming skills such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, starts, turns, streamlining, kicking, and floating. To qualify to take part in Mini Bisons, a skill assessment must be completed by one of the Bison swimming coaches. Mini Bisons operates in 10-week blocks, three times per year (Fall, Winter, and Spring). Swimmers can swim 1-3x per week. This program aims to find swimmers who love being in the water and are eager to compete in the sport; these swimmers will eventually be moved into our competitive program. Mini Bisons is an opportunity for swimmers to explore whether competitive swimming is a sport they would like to pursue on a more serious level.
1-3x per week
1-3 hours per week
3 sessions per season (Fall, Winter, Spring)
Tuesday's & Thursday's 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Saturday's 9:30 - 10:30 AM
2x per week = Tues/Thurs
1x per week = Saturday
3x per week = Tues/Thurs/Sat
Who are Mini Bison Swimmers?
Mini Bison swimmers are generally between 7-12 years old (however, the program extends to swimmers as old as 14), and love being in the water! As a base minimum, swimmers should be able to comfortably swim a 25M length of freestyle and backstroke without stopping. Big feet, long arms, and a competitive spirit are all a bonus! Our program is designed to teach swimmers the early fundamentals of competitive swimming while allowing us to discover new athletes to seed our competitive program. Mini Bisons gives both the coaching staff and the swimmer a chance to determine if competitive swimming is a good fit. Mini Bisons, is NOT a fitness program. If your swimmer is looking for an exercise prorgam, please contact Rec Services to inquire about swim fitness programming.
Who are the Coaches?
Our Mini Bison coaching staff is typically made up of current and/or recently retired varsity level swimmers. The program circuculum is designed and written by Mini Bison Coordinator, Dillon Perron.
How does the program work?
At the beginning of each session (fall, winter & spring), all the swimmers will be split up into groups based on age and skill level. Each group has approx. 8-10 swimmers, one coach, and typically one volunteer coach. There is no pass-fail or level system that you may be used to in swimming lessons. As swimmers progress, they will be moved into a group with a higher skill level. The may happen mid-session, or at the beginning of a new session. Your swimmer may remain in a similar group for several sessions in a row, this is completely normal and does not mean they are being heldback. Developing proper skills is paramount, some swimmers will develop certain skills sooner than others.
What Will They Learn?
The program's focus is on the development of speed swimming fundamentals in all four strokes. Swimmers will progress from the basics freestyle and backstroke strokes to more complex breaststroke and butterfly strokes based on their speed of skill and fitness acquisition. Swimmers will also learn flip turns and starts.
At the end of each Mini Bison session, we host a fun swim meet to allow the swimmers to experience swimming in a competitive environment. This allows both the coaching staff and swimmer to determine if competitive swimming is a good fit.
The registration fee for the 2022-2023 season is $135 for 1x per week, $270 for 2x per week, and, $405 for 3x per week.
Registration for Mini Bisons can be found online here (registration may not be open yet, depending on when you are viewing the link): https://sportandrec.umanitoba.ca/UOFM/public/category/browse/AQUATICS
PLEASE NOTE: If your swimmer has not participated in the Mini Bisons before, please contact Dillon to set up a skill assessment.