(Zoombezi Bay) – Zoombezi Bay is joining forces with the world’s top water safety and training organizations to serve as a host site for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ from 10-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 20 in the Wild Tides Wave Pool.
Zoombezi Bay will be one of hundreds of locations in more than 20 countries on five continents that will simultaneously offer a basic, 30-minute swimming instruction to children ages 2 through 12 years old at 10 a.m. The attendance at Zoombezi Bay will be combined with all other participating aquatic facilities in an attempt to collectively break the Guinness World Record.
These efforts tackle what the World Health Organization (WHO) lists as a leading cause of death and a “highly preventable public health challenge.” The WHO encourages a variety of interventions to prevent drowning, including teaching school-age children basic swimming skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-4 and is the second leading cause for children under 14.
Since the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson’s inception 10 years ago, more than 278,000 children and adults have participated in the program, according to the organization’s website. This will be the seventh year that Zoombezi Bay has participated in the challenge, helping the organization break the world record every year. Zoombezi Bay’s swimming lesson numbers will count toward World Largest Swimming Lesson’s goal of reaching one billion people with the message “swimming lessons save lives.”
To encourage participation, Zoombezi Bay is offering participants a discounted entry of $10, which includes access to the entire water park following the lesson as well as Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. (Regular admission prices apply to those accompanying the swimmers; children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a guardian.) The lesson is free for season pass holders. As part of the swim lesson plan, all ratios will comply with American Red Cross standards, and parents will be allowed to accompany their children in the wave pool. The lesson will be basic in nature and will be broken down into 4- to 10-minute sessions.