Western Aquatic Center participates in the world’s largest swimming lesson

Western’s pool where WLSL participants 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 Aquatic Center (Western) 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 the Western campus which contributed 184 attendees.

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Last Thursday, tens of thousands of children and adults at aquatic facilities around the world united for the 13th year in a row. Drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death in children aged 4 to 14 and the third in adolescents aged 15 to 17. WLSL took place for 24 hours at hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools and water parks in the United States and 13 other countries. The WLSL serves as a platform to help the global aquatics industry work together to raise awareness of the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim to avoid drowning. Swimming is a vital skill for children and an essential tool in preventing drowning.

At Western, swimming lessons are held every semester. By participating in WLSL, Western aims to create lifelong safety habits for those around the water. During the event, children were taught general pool and water safety rules: “Reach or throw, don’t go”, seek help from an adult or lifeguard , how to use various rescue tools and how to swim while wearing life jackets. Groups of teenagers learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a dummy. Adult participants learned how to keep children safe in and around water, the importance of swimming lessons, and received handouts on water and pool safety. A total of 184 children and guardians learned basic swimming techniques and water safety measures.

Aquatic Center Director Cindy Hafner said, “We love being part of the world’s biggest 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 hazards around water and how to be safe in and around water.

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