Forty-nine people took to the water in Manassas Park Thursday in hopes of playing a part in the setting of a Guinness record for the world’s largest swim lesson.
The World's Largest Swimming Lesson, a project supported by several world water safety and training organizations, was created to serve as a platform to promote water safety on a large scale.
To break the record, all the participants had to be in the water by 11 a.m. and remain there for a full 30 minutes.
Once in the pool, instructors put the swimmers into groups by age.
Bryan and Cassandra Hanifin brought their three children, 4-year-old Bobby, 3-year-old Bryson and 1-year-old Cassidy, to the swim lesson at the Manassas Park Community Center on Thursday.
“For them to be able to set a world record so young is a cool thing,” Bryan Hanifin said.
The couple said their children love the water and the two elder ones are currently enrolled in swimming lessons at the center.
Not everyone was a fan of the water before the big lesson, but by the end of the 30 minutes, at least some minds were changed.
“One little boy was telling me, ‘I don’t like the water, I don’t like swimming, I don’t want to get in, the water’s cold,’ but by the end of it, he was asking to stay longer,” said Sarah Barnett, an aquatics instructor at the community center. “They are not only building their enjoyment of swimming, but they are learning a valuable skill that will hopefully prevent drowning.”
The Prince William County Parks Authority planned to hold its own world’s largest swimming lesson at Graham Park in Dumfries, but the event didn’t happen because of pool equipment failure, said Dee Dee Tamer, a parks authority swim instructor.