OVERLAND PARK, Kan. More than 10,000 children on four continents will bob, float and flutter-kick their way into the record books by participating in The World's Largest Swimming Lesson on June 3 as part of an event sponsored by Insight Pharmaceutical’s Auro-Dri, event organizers announced Monday.
Hundreds of aquatic facilities from Disney's Typhoon Lagoon near Orlando, Fla., to swim schools in Orange Country, Calif. to community centers in the Bronx, N.Y., to locations as far reaching as Zambia, Lebanon, Dubai and the USAG-Humphreys in South Korea are participating in the program to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park has been designated as the official headquarters location for the international event that will set a new Guinness World Record.
Tragically, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death of children ages 1 to 14 years. In fact, more than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 years and younger. And, research shows if a child doesn't learn to swim before the 3rd grade, they likely never will.
Gold medalists Rowdy Gaines and Janet Evans are championing the WLSL effort to help convey that loss of life from drowning can be prevented through awareness and training. As parents, both athletes feel a strong commitment to teaching children how to be safe in and around the water.
Gaines, 11-time world record holder and "voice of American swimming" for the Olympic Games, will be master of ceremonies for the WLSL event at Typhoon Lagoon. "I'm thrilled to be working with The World's Largest Swimming Lesson to help spread the word that swimming lessons save lives," Gaines said. "Learning to swim and the exposure to the water safety messages that swimming lessons offer provide a fundamental first step for drowning prevention."
Evans, considered the greatest female distance swimmer of all time, will be on site for the WLSL event at the Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, Calif. "It is so important to draw attention to this issue, particularly at the beginning of the summer season," said Evans. "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson is a perfect way to bring the message to life for kids and adults."