It’s official: Swimming lesson was world’s largest

The Waynesboro YMCA took part in an event that has now been confirmed by the Guiness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.

The June 14 event included swimming lessons at multiple venues across the country. The Waynesboro Family YMCA helped break this record by teaching water safety and swimming basics to more than 50 children and adults.

The Y, the Waynesboro Country Club, Ironwood, Grand Caverns and McKee all participated in the local event.

Special thanks for Parker Bows for sponsoring the event.

Denise Hill led the lesson at the Waynesboro Y Pool. “It is so important to draw attention to this issue, particularly at the beginning of the summer season. The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a perfect way to bring the message to life for kids and parents,” Hill said.

The goal for the event was to bring awareness to the need for children and adults to be ‘water aware’ and learn the importance of water safety. In 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging about ten deaths per day.  It is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14 years. The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is 3.1 times that of white children in the same age range.

Nearly 6 out of 10 African American and Hispanic/Latino children are unable to swim, twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts.  While about 1/3 of white children from non-swimming families go on to learn to swim, less than 1/10 of children in non-swimming African American families do.

Throughout each year, the Waynesboro Y offers swimming lessons for all ages and lifeguard training to the community. The Y is also looking to jump start a minority learn to swim program with the assistance of USA Swimming, Waynesboro Public Schools, Boys & Girls Club, United Way, and local African American churches.

We want to lower the risk of drowning in our community and make it a safe place for all. For more information, feel free to contact the Waynesboro Family YMCA at 540.943.YMCA.

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