Western’s Aquatic Center participates in World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

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Western’s pool where participants in WLSL gathered last Thursday. Photo submitted by Western Wyoming Community College.

Wyo4news Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — On Thursday, June 23, 2022, Western Wyoming Community College’s (Western) Aquatic Center participated in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). The global event, meant to teach the importance of water awareness, was hosted by hundreds of sites across the country, including Western’s campus which contributed 184 participants.  

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Last Thursday, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world united for the 13th year in a row. Drowning remains the second leading cause of unintended death for kids four through 14, and the third for adolescents ages 15-17. WLSL took place over the course of 24 hours at hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools, and water parks in the United States and 13 other countries. 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.  

At Western, swim classes occur every semester. By participating in WLSL, Western aims to create lifelong safety habits for those who find themselves around water. During the event, children learned general pool and water safety rules: “reach or throw- don’t go,” calling for a grown-up or lifeguard to help, how to use various rescue reaching tools, and swimming while wearing life jackets. Adolescent groups learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a mannequin. Adult participants learned about keeping children safe in and around water, the importance of swimming lessons, and received handouts on water and pool safety. In total, 184 children and guardians learned basic swimming skills and water safety measures.  

Aquatic Center Manager Cindy Hafner said, “We enjoy participating in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson every year. We have won plaques, backpacks, and stereos in the past for our involvement. The lifeguards and instructors really get involved and make it fun for the swimmers. All children should be periodically reminded of the potential dangers around water and how to be safe in and around the water.” 

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