OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The first day of summer means more time in and around water. Whether kids are taking a dip at the pool or enjoying time at the waterpark, the lake or the beach, swimmers of every age need to #BeWaterAware. World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) was designed to help families do just that.
The global water safety initiative celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Thursday, June 20th with tens of thousands of kids at hundreds of locations kicking and splashing their way through a basic swim lesson designed to raise awareness about drowning prevention.
Locations from Argentina to Alabama to Allentown – more than 700 facilities in 29 countries in all – teamed up to spread the message, "Swimming Lessons Save Lives."
Three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Rowdy Gaines kicked off the lesson at Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park in Lake Buena Vista, FL where children from the Boys and Girls Club of America participated.
"Kids that start taking swim lessons early are taught basic skills and important safety rules for being around water," said Gaines, who has helped champion the event since 2010. "We want everyone to know they have to Be Water Aware. Swim lessons don't drown proof kids, but ensuring every child learns to swim is one of most crucial layers of protection a parent can provide."
Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4. The American Academy of Pediatrics recent report encourages early participation in lessons as a vital layer of protection.
In 2010, TEAM WLSL set their first Guinness World Record with 3,957 participants. Since that time, the program has grown tenfold in as many years with more than 50,000 participants expected in 2019. The real goal for the event is to build awareness about the vital importance of early water safety education. TEAM WLSL has generated more than one billion impressions since they began and expects to top 300,000,000 more with this year's event.
"We want all parents to understand that when it comes to protecting kids, swimming lessons and undistracted adult supervision are as important as car seats and bike helmets," said Rick Root, president of the World Waterpark Association (WWA).
B-Roll from the 6/20/19 World's Largest Swimming Lesson event:
- Three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines kicks off swim lesson at Disney's Blizzard Beach
- Children learning at dozens of locations around the world learning basic swim strokes, kicking, blowing bubbles, doing the back float with swim instructors.
- Soundbites: Rowdy Gaines on the importance of learning to swim.
WLSL participants on what they learned and what they enjoyed.
About the World's Largest Swimming Lesson™
The WLSL event was launched by the World Waterpark Association in 2010. Since its inception, more than 278,000 children and adults have participated. TEAM WLSL™ has provided more than 139,250 hours of water safety training and set five Guinness World Records™ for the largest simultaneous swim lesson at multiple venues. Twitter - @TheWLSL, Instagram - @team_wlsl
Contact: Aleatha Ezra
Phone: 913-599-0300 x 11
SOURCE World Waterpark Association