EPHRATA- The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson had its 10th anniversary this year and the Splash Zone in Ephrata once again joined in the worldwide event. The crowd in Ephrata was smaller this year than in years past because of the colder weather, but the event as a whole continues to grow.
Organizers around the world expect more than 45,000 participants in 30 countries on six continents over the course of 24 hours on June 20. Those numbers should obliterate the current record of 36,564 participants, which was set in 2014. Since its creation in 2010, more than 278,000 children and adults have participated.
The purpose of the swimming lessons is to prevent drownings from happening. The leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States from kids ages 1-14 is drowning. According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2015 to 2017 an estimated number of 6,400 children under 15 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries.
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is attempting to whittle down those numbers by teaching kids how to swim. As they put it, “Learning to swim helps prevent drowning – period.”
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will be back next year and hopefully in Ephrata there will be warmer weather to go with it.