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10th annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson kicks off official start of summer

by Brittani Tuttle

The start of summer means more time at the pool and in the water! With that means more water awareness for swimmers of all ages, and the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was designed to help with that.

blizzard beach

The global water safety event celebrated its 10th anniversary on Thursday, June 20, with tens of thousands of kids at hundreds of locations making their way through a basic swimming lesson created to raise awareness about drowning prevention. Over 700 facilities in 29 countries all worked together to spread the message of “Swimming Lessons Save Lives”.

blizzard beach

One of these locations was at Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park in Orlando, Fla., which hosted nearly 200 attendees as part of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. Three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Rowdy Gaines started the lesson, where kids of all ages learned basic swimming skills. Children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America were among the participants. Of the 83 participating locations in Florida, Disney’s Blizzard Beach was one of the largest.

world's largest swimming lesson

“Kids that start taking swim lessons early are taught basic skills and important safety rules for being around water,” said Gaines, who has helped with 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 [the] most crucial layers of protection a parent can provide.”

world's largest swimming lesson

“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.”

To learn more about the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson and the work that they do, visit WLSL.org.

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