Less than a month after Clayton County Senior Services broke the Guinness Book of World Records for assembling the longest soul train line, a record that is almost assured but has yet to be made official, the Clayton County Parks & Recreation Department has helped smash an international Guinness word record, this for assisting in assembling the World’s Largest Swim Lesson.
According to Clayton County Parks & Recreation Department Marketing and Communications Manager Amy Keeney, approximately 120 Clayton youngsters, ages five through 13 who are taking part in the department’s summer camp program, participated in the largest swimming lesson attempt last Thursday.
Separated into three groups of 40 youngsters at each of three county recreation facilities, the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center in Rex, the Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center in Riverdale and the Jim Huie Recreation Center in Jonesboro, the Clayton contingent helped secure a new record as they were part of more than 20,000 youngsters, from Los Angeles to Lebanon, who came together for the event.
“This marks the second year Clayton County has taken part,” Keeney said. “In addition to the youngsters, we had 12 certified Lifeguards and three water safety instructors spread out among the three local facilities.”
Clayton County Recreation officials took photos and made a video of the event, which will be used as documentation in establishing the world’s record.
Troy Stubbs, deputy administrator of Clayton County International Park, The Beach and a county official on hand at the Carl Rhodenizer Center for the event, said to be part of a Guinness word record attempt was good from a county standpoint, it was not the main purpose of the event.
“Learning to swim is a vital tool in helping prevent drowning,” he said. “It’s a sad commentary but statistics show that if one does not learn to swim by the third grade, he won’t learn to swim at all.”
Stubbs added that accidental drowning is the second leading cause of unintential death of children, ages one to 14.
“This event,” he added, “is an enjoyable way for us to build awareness of the importance of youngsters learning to swim which would make this summer even more enjoyable for them.”
Keeney said everything went well in the event yesterday and the county is looking forward to next year’s new attempt to break the world’s record.