The World Waterpark Association (WWA) has announced that this year’s World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) takes place on Thursday 17 June. Registration for the 12th annual event opened on 1 April as the WWA invited people to celebrate April Pools Day by signing up for the global initiative.
Many missed out on swimming last year due to COVID, which means the need for lessons this summer is larger than ever. Aquatic facilities, from pools, gyms and leisure parks to water parks and more, are being encouraged to register to host at least 21 participants on the day, with the hashtag #21in21. The goal of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is to raise awareness of the fact that swimming lessons are vital.
Swimming lessons prevent drowning
According to the World Health Organization, drowning accounts for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths around the world, making it the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths. Furthermore, in the US it is the leading cause of preventable injury-related death for children aged 1 to 4 and the second leading for children under 14.
Despite this, the American Red Cross says that over half of children in the USA aged between 4 and 17 do not have basic water safety skills. The yearly WLSL event aims to address this by making people aware of the importance of learning to swim, as well as the importance of proper adult supervision.
Rick Root, President of the World Waterpark Association, the founding organization of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, says:
“Over the last 11 years of hosting the WLSL event, we’ve learned we can make a real difference in our communities if we all work together. By committing to the #21in21 campaign, we can get kids and families back on track to being water aware by participating in life-saving swim lessons.”
Participating aquatic facilities can register here, and then take part by conducting a 30-minute lesson during the day on 17 June 2021.
Last year, the WWA celebrated the 40th anniversary of its annual show with a special virtual event.