Holland Aquatic Center to be part of ‘world’s largest swim lesson’

For 55 years, Holland Aquatic Center has known and shown that swimming lessons save lives, and its staff teaches more than 5,000 children and adults how to swim annually. As part of its commitment to that mission, the center,  550 Maple Ave.,  will be a host site for the 14th annual World’s Largest Swim Lesson on Thursday, June 22, at 12:30 p.m. The event is free.

The World’s Largest Swim Lesson is a global event that takes place over the course of 24 hours at hundreds of aquatic centers, swim schools and water parks around the world. 

According to a 2020 American Red Cross study, 56% 0f children ages 4-17 cannot perform the basic water skills they need to save their own life. Additionally, research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2021 shows drowning has become the leading cause of unintended death for U.S. children ages 1-4, ahead of car accidents, birth abnormalities and cancer. 

Dan Christian, Holland Aquatic Center’s operations manager for instructional programming, believes that Holland Aquatic Center makes a difference in this life-and-death issue for children and families. 

“We are aware of stats that say participating in swimming lessons can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by up to 88%,” Christian says. “At Holland Aquatic Center, we work to reduce the risk even further, and being a host site for the World’s Largest Swim Lesson is one way we can do that. Reducing a person’s risk of drowning is not only about knowing how to swim; it’s also about water safety knowledge in general. Respecting the water is paramount to a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention.” 

Free lesson, family pass

Holland Aquatic Center will provide attendees with a brief water safety presentation followed by a 30-minute lesson. All who participate in the lesson will then be given a free Family Splash pass to use immediately following the lesson on June 22.

“HAC is really excited to be a part of the World’s Largest Swim Lesson,” Christian says. “There is always risk associated with being in, on and around the water. Drowning is fast, silent, and preventable. By working together with events like this, and with our other swim lessons at HAC, we can make sure kids and adults are water aware.” 

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created and administered by the World Waterpark Association to raise awareness about the importance of teaching children to swim to prevent childhood drowning. Since its inception, more than 332,000 children and adults have participated. 

For more information about the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at Holland Aquatic Center, call 616-393-7595, or email info@hollandaquatic.org. Registration for the event is here.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.