Olympic Gold Medalists Janet Evans and Rowdy Gaines Join 30,000 Kids Around the Globe Kick Off The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™
Simultaneous global event sends message Swimming Lessons Save Lives to combat leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-5
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Janet Evans, Rowdy Gaines kick off The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ this morning to set a new Guinness World Record to combat drowning, the leading cause of accidental death for kids ages 1-5. The simultaneous global event takes place at hundreds of waterparks, pools and swim schools at exactly 11 AM ET/8 am PT.
More than 500 aquatic facilities representing 24 different countries on five continents and 46 states in the US have registered to participate in the simultaneous event.
Tragically, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-5 and the second leading cause of accidental death for kids under 14, according to the CDC.
"Parents understand how important it is to protect kids by using car seats and requiring bike helmets," said Rowdy Gaines, Olympic Gold Medalist and official spokesmen for the event. "We want the same to hold true for teaching kids to swim."
Gaines along with Janet Evans, 5-time Olympic Medalist and contender for the 2012 Games at the age of 40, are championing the WLSL effort to help convey loss of life from drowning can be prevented through awareness and training.
"It is so important to draw attention to this issue, particularly during the month of June, when the most drowning accidents take place," said Evans. "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a perfect way to bring the Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ message to life."
Evans will be on site on the west coast for the WLSL at Blue Buoy Swim School in Orange County. Gaines will be leading the lesson on the east coast at Asphalt Green in New York.
"CPSC's Pool Safely campaign is actively supporting the World's Largest Swimming Lesson 2012. Learning to swim is one of our campaign's most important simple safety steps and this excellent event makes learning to swim fun for thousands of children in America and throughout the globe," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, who is attending the lesson with Representative Jim Moran at Upton Hill Waterpark in Arlington, VA.
About The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™
The inaugural WLSL event established the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted in 2010. Last year's event grew more than 400% setting a new record with 19,322 participants. The WLSL is championed by the World Waterpark association and supported by a coalition of leading water safety organizations. Learn more at wlsl.org.
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