The City of Mississauga recently concluded a unique program that gave Muslim women a chance to test the waters — literally.
Eleven Muslim women celebrated their accomplishments last Saturday at Mississauga Valley Community Centre, where they were recognized for completing lifeguard training.
The one-year program was funded by the City and the Lifesaving Society of Ontario after officials determined that the diversity of Mississauga needed to be represented at City swimming pools as well, said Juanita Bueschleb, the City's aquatics supervisor.
"We have a large Muslim population in Mississauga and we have opportunities for swimming, but we had very few opportunities for gender-specific recreational swimming or leadership training," said Bueschleb, who also sits on the Lifesaving Society's board of directors. "So we decided to start with a pilot project because our traditional product line just didn't fit."
She said Mississauga is the first municipality in North America to introduce such a project.