The World’s Largest Swim Lesson first earned its way into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. The program has been shattering its own record every since, as swimmers across the globe participate in a swim lesson on the same day, at same time, by following the same curriculum.
But for some swimmers at SwimKids, it was just another day in the pool.
“We think it’s just a normal swimming class,” said Lauren Zavattieri, a preschool-aged girl who takes lessons at Gainesville SwimKids regularly.
Zavattieri said her favorite part of the lesson was streamlining, learning to kick in the water without using any strokes.
The World’s Largest Swim Lesson included swim instructions simple enough for students of any age. In small groups, instructors demonstrated and facilitated the learning of holding their breath under water, floating, kicking and treading water using traditional strokes.
The message of The World’s Largest Swim Event that “Swimming lessons saves lives,” corresponded with Swim Kids’ emphasis on safety first.
According to SwimKids Gainesville Manager, Allison Griffin, the primary goal of SwimKids is to save lives. They even have a lesson in which students jump in the pool with all their clothes on. They practice swimming fully clothed, so the children would know what to do if they were to fall into a body of water unexpectedly.
Most of the parents who took advantage of the free swim lesson on Thursday already had their children enrolled in swim classes, but thought it would be a unique experience for their children.
“Our kids are almost five. It’s a good learning experience to be a part of history,” said parent Meg Holden. “There are not that many opportunities to be a record holder for the average individual.”
Other parents echoed that sentiment, and some dads even chose to participate in the event with their children.
“It’s not everyday you get to this. It is something to look back on,” said Michelle McIntyre, whose husband also participated. Although she said she might have been hesitant hearing what sounds like a gigantic swim event, she implicitly trusted SwimKids.
“I knew, because it was SwimKids, it would be safe; it would be fun for them,” McIntyre said.
Brad Candland, nephew of Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, attended the event in place of his uncle who had a prior obligation.
“I think it’s a really good thing. I took swim lessons at 3:00 p.m. I think it’s a really good program to teach kids how to swim,” Candland said.
© 2012, Stacy Shaw. All rights reserved.