World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (#WLSL2024) Kicks Off First Day of Summer with Global Event Teaching Kids and Parents How to Be Water Aware

More Than 600 Waterparks, Swim Schools and Pools in 19 Countries Taught an Estimated 43,000 Kids Vital Swim and Water Safety Skills to Combat Increased Drowning Risk Following the Pandemic

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The 15th Annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, coordinated by the World Waterpark Association, brought together thousands of water safety advocates on six continents to send a united message on the first day of summer: Swimming Lessons Save Lives.

Drowning, the single leading cause of death for kids ages 1-4, is on the rise in the U.S. for the first time in decades and making swimming lessons more accessible can save lives, according to a new study from the U.S. C.D.C. released last month. In early June, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual report on drowning and submersion echoed those findings, showing fatal drownings for children under the age of 15 increased by 12 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. Lack of access to pools, delayed swimming lessons, significant growth in the number of backyard pools and spas and changes in how people recreate around water are all contributing factors.

“The recent increase in drowning rates makes our mission more urgent than ever,” said Rick Root, president of the World Waterpark Association. “We want parents to understand that formal swimming lessons and an understanding of basic water safety principles are paramount for their child’s safety.”

Aquatic facilities, including waterparks, swim schools, local community pools, and even beachfronts, participated providing free swimming and water safety lessons to more than 43,000 kids during the one-day event.  The lessons took place in 19 different countries, including Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.

“Today is the first day of summer, and we’re kicking it off with the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson right here at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of external affairs for Walt Disney World, who hosted this year’s single largest WLSL event. “We invited seven different non-profits from throughout central Florida and we have 1,000 students participating with us this morning. We want to expose as many kids as we can to these life-saving skills.”

Ryan Murphy, an ambassador for Goldfish Swim Schools who qualified for his third Olympic team by sweeping the Backstroke events at the U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials last week, is a passionate learn-to-swim advocate. “Simply enrolling your child in formalized swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%,” said Murphy. “It helps mitigate risk. Having kids take part in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at Goldfish Swim Schools all around the country is a great way to introduce them to swimming and the importance of water safety.”

“Within the lessons, we work on various safety skills,” said Kirsten Conrad, general manager of the Kansas City Goldfish Swim Schools. “We talk about things like being safe around the pool, what you should do when you see someone in trouble in the water, why it’s important to have lifeguards around, and all of those pieces so that kids are aware of water safety beyond the walls here at Goldfish.”

“Swimming is a skill that every person should have,” said parent Duwayne Moore, whose son Brian participated in the event. “All kids should know how to swim, period.”

About: The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ ( is a global drowning prevention event designed to raise awareness about the risks associated with water and the critical importance of teaching kids to swim. Launched by the World Waterpark Association ( in 2010, the WLSL program is celebrating its 15th Anniversary, having served more than 400,000 participants in 54 countries through its team of Host Locations.

WLSL b-roll/soundbites available at:

Contact: Beth Root

Phone: 913-544-5734

SOURCE World’s Largest Swimming Lesson