For more than 50 years, Holland Aquatic Center has known and shown that swimming lessons save lives as its staff teaches more than 5,000 children and adults how to swim annually. Continually committed to that mission, Holland Aquatic Center will serve as a host site for the 13th annual World’s Largest Swim Lesson ™ on Thursday, June 23 at 12:30 p.m.
The World’s Largest Swim Lesson ™ is a unified global event that takes place over the course of 24 hours at hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools and waterparks around the world.
According to the American Red Cross, children’s water competency and the overall number of people taking swimming lessons has increased in recent years, but there is still work to be done. Research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2021 shows drowning has become the leading cause of unintended death for U.S. children ages 1-4, ahead of car accidents, birth abnormalities and cancer. Additionally, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death worldwide.
Dan Christian, Holland Aquatic Center’s operations manager for instructional programming, believes that Holland Aquatic Center has and will continue to make a difference in this life and death issue for children and families in the West Michigan area. Each year, HAC staff teaches more than 5,000 children and adults how to swim.
“We are aware of stats that say participating in swimming lessons can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by up to 88%,” says Christian. “At HAC, we work to reduce the risk even further, and being a host site for WLSL is one way we can do that in conjunction with our other great instructional programming. Reducing a person’s risk of drowning is not only about knowing how to swim; it’s also about water safety knowledge in general. Respecting the water is paramount to a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention.”
Holland Aquatic Center’s plan as a host for the WLSL includes providing attendees with a brief water safety presentation followed by a 30-minute lesson. All who participate in the lesson will then be given a free Family Splash pass to use immediately following the lesson on June 23rd. The lesson is free, but donations are encouraged to help Holland Aquatic Center fund its swim school scholarship program.
“HAC is really excited to be a part of the World’s Largest Swim Lesson,” Christian says. “There is always risk associated with being in, on and around the water. Drowning is fast, silent, and preventable. By working together with events like this, and with our other swim lessons at HAC, we can make sure kids and adults are water aware.”
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson ™ was created and administered by the World Waterpark Association to raise awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to prevent childhood drowning. Since its inception, more than 332,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL and generating more than two billion media impressions about the importance of learning to swim.
Sign up for the event here at https://hcac.recdesk.com/Community/Program/Detail?programId=2557