Run at record emphasizes need for life-saving skill.
Big is nothing new at Garden City's municipal swimming pool.
Thanks to its mammoth size — with a surface area exceeding that of a football field ¬-- it's been known for many years as the Big Pool.
And this week, the local attraction will serve as an appropriate venue for a run at a very big record.
Garden City's pool is among hundreds of facilities worldwide set to participate in a collective attempt to establish "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson."
Participants will hit the local pool Thursday looking to help break a Guinness World Record set last year when more than 20,000 youngsters and adults joined in swim lessons at pools across the globe.
Local organizers envision some 100 swimmers taking part at the Big Pool.
Worldwide, various attempts to land in the Guinness Book of World Records have been both creative and outlandish. People actually compete to grow the longest fingernails, or create the biggest rubber-band ball, among other strange feats.
The world-record attempt planned in Garden City and beyond won't just be something unusual to do. And as fun as being part of the world's biggest swimming lesson may sound, Thursday's event also aims to stress the importance of learning to swim and staying safe in the water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day. Of those, two are children age 14 or younger.
Drowning is preventable, but remains the leading cause of injury-related death for children age 1 to 5. For older children and teens, it's the second leading cause of death behind motor vehicle accidents.
Children and adults come into contact with water in many ways, from bath tubs to swimming pools to lakes and other bodies of water. They need to be confident in and around the water.
Just as we know to use safety seats and seat belts while in motor vehicles, we also need to be equipped with the potentially life-saving skill of swimming.
For those who don't have that ability, learning more at Thursday's super-sized swimming lesson would be an ideal start.