Gainesville Joins Team WLSL Set to Break New World Record


On Thursday, June 18, at 10 a.m., thousands of children and adults will unite at aquatics facilities around the globe to set a new global record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is joining Team WLSL to once again break a world record and send the message that swimming lessons save lives. The global record attempt will take place at three Gainesville locations: Andrew R. Mickle Pool, Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool and H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool.

Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 36,564 participants representing 22 different countries! The 2014 WLSL event generated more than 50 million media impressions, spreading the event’s important message to hundreds of thousands of families.

“Our participation is meant to draw attention to a very important message - by teaching children to swim, we are having a real impact on reducing the drowning rate among children,” explains Michelle Weydert, program coordinator for athletics. “Our goal is to get the message out to the community that swimming lessons help save lives, while having fun at the same time!”

Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.

The event is free to all participants! To participate in this event and be part of history, arrive at 9:45 a.m. (15 minutes before the swimming lesson) at one of the three Gainesville host location facilities: Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool (1717 SE 15th St.) , Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool (1100 NE 14th St.) or H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool (1001 NW 31st Dr.). After the swim lesson stay and relax at the pool. Go down the slide, jump off the diving boards or just hangout with your children by the pool. To learn more about this event, visit, or call 352-334-5067.

For information, please contact Michelle Weydert, LGIT, CPO, AFO, program coordinator for athletics, at 352-334-5067 or email Also, please visit our website at

Pictures from last year’s event:

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