(Norwalk, Conn.) - On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the City of Norwalk Recreation & Parks Department and Velo-CT will team up for World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). This global event will celebrate its 10th anniversary with events taking place over 24 hours at an estimated 600 locations in more than 20 countries.
“As we head into summer, this is a great time to talk about water safety and the importance of learning to swim at any age,” said Nick Roberts, Director of Norwalk Recreation & Parks. “We are thrilled to team up with Velo-CT for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. I hope the public will join us for this great event.”
Since its inception, more than 278,000 children and adults have participated in the WLSL, helping to raise awareness about the vital importance of learning to swim. Last year’s event included 41,814 participants from 27 countries. Velo-CT is serving as an official host location with support from Norwalk’s Recreation and Park’s Learn-to-Swim Program. Registration is free and open to the public.
Tragically, in the U.S. drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children aged 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.
“Teaching children to swim is an important part of keeping them safe in and around water. It’s important to understand, however, that knowing how to swim is only part of the water safety solution,” said Rob Polley, Director of Swimming Instruction with Velo-CT. “That’s why teaching water safety habits should be included in all swimming lesson programs, and ‘Water Watchers’ cannot multitask.”
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is Thursday, June 20 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m at Velo-CT, 8 Willard Rd, Norwalk, CT 06851. Lessons are in 60 minute blocks: 4-5 p.m., ages 3-6; 5-6 p.m., ages 5-9; 6-7 p.m., ages 10-17; and 7-8 p.m., swimmers 18 or older. Participants can register online for free at velo-ct.com/special-programs.
For more information on the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, visit wlsl.org.
Director of Swimming Instruction