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World's Largest Swimming Lesson at local waterparks helps spread the message about learning to swim
Published:
6/22/2015 3:20:45 PM


 
On Thursday, June 18, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world united for the sixth year in a row in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record™.

The global record attempt for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) took place at 10 a.m.

The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) participated by offering special one-time swimming lessons at this time to nearly 150 registered summer camp participants at area waterparks.

In Charleston County, official Host Location Facilities for the WLSL event included Splash Island Waterpark in Mount Pleasant, Splash Zone Waterpark on James Island, and Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark in North Charleston. Select children participating in CCPRC summer camps took part in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim.

Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 36,564 participants representing 22 different countries. The national WLSL organization will collect records and photography from all organizations who participated in the June 18 event, for submission later this summer to the Guinness World Record™ organization for review to determine if a new record was in fact set.

Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ was created to serve as a platform to help local community aquatic facilities and the many different national, regional and state wide water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to tell this important story on a local and national level.

While CCPRC does not offer formal public swimming lessons, the organization does operate a portable swimming pool in which Odyssey Summer Campers at CCPRC sites in McClellanville, Johns Island, and Hollywood all learn basic swimming skills each summer. CCPRC's non-profit partner, The Parklands Foundation, also raises funds through The Genesis Project to build permanent swimming pools in these three areas, which currently do not have public pools easily accessible for swimming lessons. The Genesis Project was named in honor of young Genesis Holmes, who drowned tragically in a Hollywood pond last summer. For more information on The Genesis Project and how to help build pools in rural Charleston County, visit TheParklandsFoundation.org.

CCPRC encourages Lowcountry residents to visit SwimSafeLowcountry.com for information on swimming lessons in the area. For more information about The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ visit WLSL.org.
 

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