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Youths go for World's Largest Swimming Lesson record

Posted: June 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Swim instructors Bailey Campbell, top, and Selene Cervantes demonstrate an alternating arm stroke.

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More than 30 Santa Clarita Valley kids from toddlers to teens met at the Academy Swim Club in Valencia on Thursday to join an international attempt to break the world record for the largest simultaneous swim lesson.

“We’ll need to get 20,000 kids to participate to break the world’s record,” Academy Swim Club owner Nikki Miller said while poolside.

“This event (has been) advertised around the world at least six moths in advance, and there are two official witnesses at each location to verify the number of swimmers.”

From 8-8:30 a.m., children from Lebanon to London to the Santa Clarita Valley and elsewhere made a combined splash when they leapt into pools around the world for the swim lesson taught by instructors and lifeguards.

The swimmers won’t know if a record was broken, because it takes a while to tally the exact number of swimmers worldwide.

“We’re trying to get greater than 20,000,” Miller said.

“Counting exact numbers may take a few months,” she said.

The primary goal of the event was to teach kids about water safety.

“Part of our mission is to educate and get the word out about water safety,” she said. “We encourage kids to learn how to swim, and we want to familiarize their loved one with the dangers of drowning.”

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of accidental death of children under 5 in California and throughout the world, Miller said.

It is the second leading cause of accidental death of children under 14 years of age nationally.

Other lessons Thursday included floating, breathing and submerging and swim strokes.

Brin Bozon, 9, of Valencia, has taken part in the swim lesson for three years, she said while neck deep in the water at the pool.

“I’ve always loved to swim, and I love trying to break a record,” Brin said.

When asked what she thought about being part of a global event centering around the combined efforts of thousands of children she adjusted her goggles and said, “It’s just insane.”

Another would-be record breaker, Paige Emerson, 9, has been swimming for just more than a year, she said.

“I can’t wait to go back to school next year and say, ‘I broke a world record. What did you do this summer?’” Paige said.

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