BRYAN, Texas — Bryan Aquatics is participating in the world’s largest swim lesson. This event takes place all over the world to promote lifesaving swimming skills and it’s making an impact here in the Brazos Valley.
According to the CDC, there are nearly 4,000 drownings a year in the U.S. and Texas comes in as second in the country. That’s an average of 11 deaths per day.
“It’s a way to get people involved in something bigger than just your local community,” said Lexi Durbin, Aquatics and Athletics Coordinator, Bryan Aquatic Center. “It’s connecting with other aquatic centers across the world and all participating on the same day and the same event to prevent life’s emergencies.”
The swim lessons last 30 minutes and it’s open to all ages.
“The biggest thing here is just preventing drowning and they have taken it down to a 30-minute simple lesson for everybody from the age of zero to well over 100 that can follow,” said Durbin.
Janett Doucet had seen the world’s largest swim lesson advertised for years and decided to come out with her kids.
“I just thought it would be something really fun to do and really important for them,” said Janett Doucet, parent. “We want to be in the pool but safety is a top priority so I thought it would be something fun for them and educational at the same time.”
Doucet says parent involvement and encouragement is most important.
“Practice with them,” said Doucet. “Get in the water with them. Ask them what they’ve learned and that’s a good bonding moment for them and it gives them good encouragement to try new things because it can be scary to get in the water.”
Durbin says the world’s largest swim lesson event is how she gained some of her lifeguards on staff.
“Back in the day, they came here and had a swim lesson and now they’re lifeguarding for me,” said Durbin. “If it wasn’t for that swim lesson, they would’ve never continued on lifeguarding. Now they’re changing other people’s lives by teaching swim lessons and guarding our pools.”
Durbin says Bryan Aquatics has been participating in this global lifesaving water event for over a decade.
“The world’s largest swim lesson was created about 20 years ago to really try to promote water safety, aquatic literacy, to let people know the dangers of what’s going on and to just kind of make it fun.”
From babies only months old to adults, every participant learned variations of swim safety by doing segment drills of breathing, blowing bubbles, floating, water submersion and coming back to the surface.
“By participating in any form of a swim lesson, you are reducing your risk of a drowning by 50 percent,” said Durbin.
After the lesson, swimmers walked away more confident in their skills, ready to make a splash this summer.