“This is a simultaneous swim lesson happening all over the world right now,” said Jacki Nuss, Aquatics Coordinator for Marie Kerr Park pool. “These participants are building to beat the record last year, which was 20,000 participants in 13 countries on six continents.”
Marie Kerr Park pool was the official local host for the WLSL record-breaking event. About four dozen children and parents took part in the half-hour swim lesson, which started around 8 a.m.
“It’s intended to bring awareness about the importance of swim lessons and drowning statistics,” Nuss said. “It culminates the end of Water Safety Prevention Month.”
The swim lesson was broken into different groups based on age, with children as young as a year old taking part. It’s never too early to learn to swim, Nuss said, adding that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1 to 14 years.
“If children don’t learn to swim by the time they’re in third grade, there’s a good chance they’ll never learn how to swim,” Nuss said. “The tragedy of drowning is preventable for children, so we’re trying to bring that awareness here today.”
Participants at Thursday’s swim lesson learned general rules of how to act at a pool before diving into the water. Then they learned a variety of swimming skills ranging from floating techniques to the back stroke.
Nuss said, at the end of the lesson, the participant sign-in sheet would be sent to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon near Orlando, FL to be included in the official count for the World’s Largest Swimming lesson. If participants best last year’s record, the event will make the Guinness Book of World Records, Nuss said.
Low cost swimming lessons will be offered all summer long at the Marie Kerr Park pool. There is also a scholarship program for families who can’t afford swimming lessons. For more information, visit www.cityofpalmdale.org/playpalmdale, contact the parks and recreation office at 661-267-5611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.