Join World's Largest Swimming Lesson at Columbus State's Recreation Center

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Interested in joining a few thousand people learning how to swim?

Columbus State University will welcome anyone interested in learning or improving their swimming skills to be part of the third annual World’s Largest Swimming Lesson June 14, hosted locally at the aquatics center in CSU’s Student Recreation Center.

CSU’s Student Recreation Center is one of about two dozen Georgia facilities — the only one at a university — approved to participate in the global effort designed to build awareness about the importance of learning to swim to prevent drowning.

swim lesson

“Parents understand how important it is to protect their children by using car seats and requiring bike helmets,” said Chad Day, CSU’s aquatics director. “Someday, we hope the same will hold true for teaching kids to swim.”

CSU’s $23 million, 106,000-square foot Student Recreation Center opened last year, complete with a state-of-the-art aquatics center that encompasses a five-lane, 25-yard lap pool, a “lazy river,” therapy pool area and adjacent sauna.

The first World’s Largest Swimming Lesson in 2010 set a Guinness World Record, and the 2011 event quadrupled that record total with 20,000 participants in 45 states and 13 countries.

With help from student assistants, Day will be CSU’s head instructor, estimating the aquatics center can accommodate up to 100 novice swimmers, ages 12 and up, for the 45-minute lesson starting at 11 am. The event is free to participants, who are encouraged to pre-register, arrive early in swimwear, bring a towel and, if needed, goggles. Walk-ins will be welcome.

“This looks to be a fun event,” Day said.

The global effort addresses a serious problem, however, as drowning remains a leading cause of injury deaths among children ages 1-14.

To preregister locally, contact Day at 706-507-8657 or

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Caption for accompanying photo:

Chad Day, right, aquatics director at Columbus State University's Student Recreation Center, works with a CSU student learning how to swim during a fitness course at the aquatics center May 21. He will be the head instructor June 14 for a massive swimming lesson, open to anyone 12 and older, at the center.

Media: Full-resolution original photo