About

Who We Are

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, created by the World Waterpark Association in 2010, is a global public relations event supported by aquatic facilities, waterparks, pools, swim schools, YMCA's, among others. 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. Swimming is a life-saving skill for children and a vital tool to prevent drowning, the second leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-14. Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between the ages of 1-4. Yet, a survey conducted by the American Red Cross in 2014 found that more than half of Americans (54 percent) either can't swim or don't have all of the basic swimming skills. This CAN and SHOULD change and this is the mission of TEAM WLSL™.

This 2017 World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ will take place on Thursday, June 22nd. This will be the eighth year for the global event and TEAM WLSL™ will be setting its sights on a new goal -- reaching more than one billion with the message Swimming Lesson Save Lives™ by 2019. Local WLSL events will take place at hundreds of locations in more than 20 countries on five continents over the course of 24 hours.

Team WLSL Accomplishments

Since its inception, more than 195,000 children and adults have participated in WLSL events generating more than a half a billion media impressions about the vital importance of learning to swim. The overall success of the WLSL event is thanks to the support it has received from thousands upon thousands of people who have hosted a lesson in their facility or come out to their local pool, swim school or waterpark to participate in a live event each year.

Other Highlights

  • TEAM WLSL™ holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted at multiple venues. The official record was set in 2014 with 36,564 participants in 22 countries​
  • In 2013, Sun-N-Fun in Naples, Florida, set a Guinness World Record™ for the largest swimming lesson conducted at a single venue with 1,308 participants
  • The WLSL event is truly global with 41 countries having participated since the event began in 2010. Participating countries include: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, United Kingdom, Uruguay and the United States​
  • More than 50 life-saving and safety organizations have thrown their support behind TEAM WLSL™, helping spread the word to millions of people about this annual drowning prevention event

WHY THIS MATTERS

The problem is real

Per the Center for Disease Control, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause for children under 14; drowning is an even greater threat in other countries around the world.

Many lack basic swimming skills

In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found that more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can't swim or don't have all of the basic swimming skills.

Parental supervision is key

According to a SafeKids Worldwide 2016 report, despite the fact that lack of supervision plays a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms' reach of their child in the water.