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(MARCH 2024) As the temperature rises and the days grow longer, YMCA of Catawba Valley is preparing for the upcoming summer season. With a steadfast commitment to safety and the well-being of our community, our lifeguards are gearing up for a season filled with fun, sun, and a watchful eye over water enthusiasts.

YMCA of Catawba Valley offers lifeguard certification courses as a preparation for the summer. To qualify for the certification, you must be 16 years of age or older by the last day of the certification class, athletic, enjoy working out, and have basic swimming skills. We are currently registering for a class starting in May at Hickory Foundation YMCA as well as another class organized by the Red Cross that will begin registration in April at Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA.

Pursuing being a lifeguard gives you the opportunity to lean in and grow in professional development, communication skills, relationship building, 1st responder certification, leadership skills, critical thinking, and many other skills.

"We are dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our community members during the summer season. YMCA of Catawba Valley strives to ensure that our lifeguards are highly trained, and our proactive approach to safety ensures that everyone can make the most of their time in and around the water. We encourage everyone to be vigilant, follow safety guidelines, and have a fantastic upcoming summer,” said Ryan Pegarsch, Aquatics Director at Hickory Foundation YMCA.

As YMCA of Catawba Valley gears up for an exciting and safe summer, we invite the community to join us in making water safety a top priority. For more information on our lifeguard initiatives, upcoming events, and water safety tips, please visit


Media Contact: Margaret Ann Graffagnino:
Ryan Pegarsch: