POSTED: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 6:29pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 6:54pm
El Paso, TX — Hundreds of Borderland kids took a free swimming lesson at Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld in Anthony, TX, Friday. At exactly the same time, tens of thousands of participants around the world also be splashed their way to swimming success. The international team, made up primarily of kids, united for the fifth year in a row to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest swimming lesson ever conducted. The global record attempt for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL), took place from 9am to 9:30 Mountain Time.
Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 32,450 participants from 432 host facilities in 13 countries; 50,000 participants are needed to beat the 2013 record. One main goal of WLSL is to spread the message that Swimming Lessons Save Lives™.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, “drowning is a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4” and “the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years.” The CDC also states, “Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children aged 1 to 4 years, who are at greatest risk of drowning.” WLSL only provides one lesson, but it is a good way for kids to learn something about water safety, and get a taste of how fun and rewarding swimming can be.
Sammy Bustamante, eight years old, participated in both 2011 and 2012. It was his first swimming lesson. His father, Ramon Bustamante, Jr., said that Sammy didn’t really like the water until WLSL. “Sammy liked the lesson. He had fun and it was a positive introduction to swimming.” WLSL was also the first swimming lesson for 6 year-old Diego Saucedo who attended WLSL 2012. “Now Diego knows how to swim,” says his mother Crystal Duran. “When we come to Wet ‘N’ Wild, he knows exactly what to do.”