On Friday, June 20, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world united for the fifth year in a row to set a new Guinness World Record. The global record attempt for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson took place at 9 a.m.
The current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson stands at 32,450 participants representing 13 different countries across five continents. This year’s event had more than 800 host facilities, 26 different countries around the globe and expected numbers approaching 50,000. Additionally, Silverthorne Recreation Center topped its 2013 facility record of 45 people.
“Today, we saw 69 participants that ranged in age from infant to adult,” said Suzanna Barth, program pool manager at the Silverthorne Recreation Center. “This was a great experience for all involved to bring awareness to water safety and the message that swimming lessons save lives.”
Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children ages 1 to 5 and the second leading cause of accidental death for children younger than 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.
This was a great morning for participants, instructors and aids to be a part of a world record and promote the live-saving skill of learning to swim through swimming lessons. Many other people who believe in the message helped to ensure the success of the event. The Silverthorne Recreation Center would like to thank John and Malgorzata Lieske for being acting Guinness World Record witnesses and Tim Bender and Joanne Mahlowitz for conducting registration. Many other volunteer instructors added to the effort.
Participants and parents are invited to learn more about this phenomenal event by visiting www.wlsl.org. Visit silverthorne.org for the official final count to be released later this summer by Guinness World Records.