posted on Jun 13, 2021
WHO WE ARE
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, created by the World Waterpark Association in 2010, is a global public relations event supported by aquatic facilities, waterparks, pools, swim schools, YMCA's, among others. The WLSL event serves as a platform to help the global aquatics industry work together to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning. Swimming is a life-saving skill for children and a vital tool to prevent drowning, the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-14. Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between the ages of 1-4. Yet, a survey conducted by the American Red Cross in 2014 found that more than half of Americans (54 percent) either can't swim or don't have all of the basic swimming skills. This CAN and SHOULD change and this is the mission of TEAM WLSL™.
The 2021 World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ will be held on Thursday, June 17th. Host locations may select their own start time on the 17th to best suit their operating schedule. TEAM WLSL™ has sent the message Swimming Lesson Save Lives™ to billions of kids and adults. Let’s share this important message with as many kids and adults as we can throughout the summer of 2021.
TEAM WLSL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Since its inception, more than 320,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL lessons generating more than TWO BILLION life saving, learn-to-swim media impressions. The overall success of the WLSL event is thanks to the support it has received from thousands upon thousands of people who have hosted a lesson in their facility or come out to their local pool, swim school or waterpark to participate in a live event each year.
TEAM WLSL™ holds five Guinness World Records™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted at multiple venues including the current official record which was set in 2014 with 36,564 participants in 22 countries.
TEAM WLSL™ holds three Guinness World Records™ for the largest swimming lesson conducted at a single venue. Sun-N-Fun in Naples, Florida, set the current official Guinness World Record™ for the largest swimming lessons with 1,308 participants. Other venues have worked to break this record, but have not received official designation from the Guinness organization.
The WLSL event is truly global with 48 countries having participated since the event began in 2010. Participating countries include: Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
More than 50 life-saving and safety organizations have thrown their support behind TEAM WLSL™, helping spread the word to billions of people about this annual drowning prevention event
WHY THIS MATTERS
The problem is real
Per the Center for Disease Control, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause for children under 14; drowning is an even greater threat in other countries around the world.
Many lack basic swimming skills
In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found that more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can't swim or don't have all of the basic swimming skills.
Parental supervision is key
According to a SafeKids Worldwide 2016 report, despite the fact that lack of supervision plays a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms' reach of their child in the water.
Swimming Lessons Make a Difference
Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children age 1-4 by up to 88%. According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 9 in 10 Americans (95 percent) believe it is important for children to learn how to swim at an early age.
Males & Minorities are at the Most Risk
Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male and the fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 4 to 14 is almost 3 times that of white children in the same age group.