Lions Water Adventure park local host for world’s largest swim lesson
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created by the World Waterpark Association in 2010 as a platform to communicate the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim. On June 21, 147 children lined up at Lion’s Water Adventure park to participate in this lesson.
“(The purpose) is to advertise and promote water safety,” Lion’s Water Adventure Aquatics Director Josh Bass said. “It’s important for kids to have basic water skills.”
The WLSL event serves as a platform to help the global aquatics industry work together to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.
According to the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, from 2005-2014 there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States -- about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
Bass said the best part of the event is the children’s excitement.
“We're trying to teach them stuff for not just our water park but also for when they get to a lake or beach; these skills and techniques could save their lives,” Bass said.
John Munoz, head manager at Lion’s Adventure Water Park, said this event helps teach children the importance of the safety steps, like swimming with a lifeguard or using a life jacket.
“We want them to be comfortable in the water, we don’t want them to be afraid,” Munoz said. “We want them to come out and have fun.”
Children ages 1-14 were in attendance and were able to learn everything from getting comfortable in the water to different swimming strokes. Lifeguards and waterpark attendants took to the pools to help teach the children different techniques.
Organizations like the American Red Cross and Vidant Medical Center Injury Prevention Program both passed out information for parents and summer camp counselors.
Natalia Ugalde of the Vidant Medical Center Injury Prevention Program said events like this help to educate families about water safety.
“I would love for people to leave here knowing what to do in case of an emergency and make sure they are aware of the importance of paying attention to their child in the water,” Ugalde said.
The event also partners with Lenoir County Parks and Recreation. Children from four of the summer camps attended the event.
Melvyn Blackwell, Georgia K Battle Summer Camp Counselor, said when the children know what to do it makes it much safer.
“The kids are excited anytime it comes to water,” Blackwell said.