Find Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is a promotional event designed to build awareness and generate local and national press attention about the vital importance of teaching kids to swim to help prevent drowning. 

What are we trying to accomplish?

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of children ages 1-14 in the U.S.Internationally, the World Health Organization estimates drowning is one of the top five causes of death for people aged\s 1-14 in 48 of the 85 countries it monitors around the globe. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ is designed to provide local waterparks, community pools and other aquatic facilities with an event that draws attention to this issue, encourages participation in swimming lesson programs and helps spread the word that Swimming Lessons Save Lives.™ 


Who is putting this program together?

WLSL is being presented by the World Waterpark Association with support from Abbey’s Hope, American Red Cross (ARC), Amusement Today, Aquatics International, Instituto de Natacao Infantil (INATI), Jeff Ellis & Associates, Lifeguards Without Borders, National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO), National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), CPSC's Pool Safely, Safe Kids Worldwide, Stop Drowning Now, Starfish Aquatics Institute, STA, Swim Australia, USA Swimming Foundation, United States Swim School Association, Water Safety Products  and many other organizations. To review a list of all of our Supporting Organizations, please click here

What's the schedule for the event?

All lessons being conducted as part of the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ must take place on Thursday, June 21, 2018. You may choose whatever start time works best for your facility on the 21st. Host facilities may register participants well in advance of the event, but also need to allow for time the morning of WLSL to have everyone participating in the event sign their WLSL log sheet.

How can I participate?

You can get involved with WLSL as a host location or as an individual participant in the lesson. To host a lesson at your facility, just complete the online registration process. To participate in a local event, search the Host Location list to find a local WLSL site where you can participate in the lesson or volunteer to help. The list of registered Host Locations will become available here in late March. Updates and additions will be made through the close of registration on June 8th.

How many facilities will be teaching on the day of the event?

We estimate that approximately 600 locations will conduct a WLSL event on June 21st. The more facilities that participate, the bigger the news story! So, help spread the word! The total number of Host Locations for the 2018 WLSL event won't be available until after August 3, 2018.

We want to host a lesson at our facility - what do we do?

Facilities interested in being a Host Location for the WLSL should complete the online registration process. Once we've received your registration information, payment and release form, you'll have access online to a WLSL Host Location Kit including: the curriculum for the lesson, marketing materials and press-ready documents and talking points to help you drive participation for your event. The deadline to register as a Host Location is June 7th. 

Is there a fee to participate?

Yes, there is a small fee. The registration fee for 2017 was $69.00 for a single host location. We do have multiple location group discounts for related facilities within the same city limits. We also offer a limited number of scholarships to host locations that cannot afford the registration fee. For more details on the scholarship program or group discounts, please email Bernadine Buda. Pricing for 2018 will be available after the start of the new year. 

How will people know that our facility is participating? 

Once your Host Location registration is fully completed, your facility will be added to the searchable list of WLSL Host Locations on the Find A Local Event page.

How many instructors do we need to teach our local WLSL Lesson?

The number of instructors needed will depend on how many participants you have. The one main Instructor teaching the lesson at your facility must be certified by a recognized swimming instructor training program.Other lifeguards assisting do not need to be certified. 

Do we need to teach a specific curriculum?

Yes. All facilities participating in the WLSL event need to teach the same 30-minute lesson. The curriculum is an easy, beginner lesson, so plan to allow for the broadest participation possible. 

How do we qualify as part of the WLSL Official Count?

Participating Host Location facilities will be responsible for counting, recording and submitting the total number of lesson participants as outlined in the WLSL Host Location Kit to qualify for the final official count. Each host facility must have a minimum of 5 participants to qualify. Sample WLSL participant log sheets and detailed qualification requirements will be provided to all Host Locations in the WLSL Host Location Kit.

How do we get people to participate in our event?

All Host Locations will have access to an electronic WLSL Host Location Kit that includes promotional and marketing materials and customizable press releases and media advisories to help you get the word out about your WLSL event. Sample materials include:

  • Customizable Posters
  • Customizable Ads
  • Web Banners
  • Customizable Rack Card
  • Press Release template
  • And more

What can we do to help build awareness about the event and the cause?

Promote, promote, promote! Here's a sample of the ideas you'll find in the WLSL Host Location Kit: 

  • Put up WLSL posters or vinyl banners at your facility, or post flyers on community bulletin boards at grocery stores, libraries and coffee shops
  • Link your website to WLSL.org with a web banner available on the Materials page
  • Become a fan of the WLSL event on Facebook
  • Get all your FB friends to become WLSL fans
  • Tweet about it. Follow @TheWLSL on Twitter
  • Personalize and distribute press releases to your local media
  • Send out emails to your member lists
  • Connect with other aquatic facilities in your local market and work together to build awareness and generate media exposure
  • Personalize your local event with fun add-ons like back float competitions, lifeguard training demonstrations or summer safety tips