Swimmers will try to break a ‘Guinness Book’ world record at a Woodside pool

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St. Sebastian Parish Center in Woodside may wind up in the record books tomorrow, as swimmers will participate in the Swim Strong Foundation’s attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for most people treading water at the same time in multiple locations.

The Swim Strong Foundation will be joining teams across the country on Wednesday, Sept. 27, to try and not only set the new record, but to raise funds for their foundation and others.

The Tread-A-Thon, as it is being called, was set up by the Swim Strong Foundation as a fundraiser to support the International Water Safety Foundation (IWSF), an organization that provides instruction in swimming, water safety and rescue skills to children in developing countries.

Half of the funds raised during the Tread-A-Thon will be donated to the IWSF, which will then donate funds to projects like SWIM Cambodia. The other half of the money will go towards Swim Strong’s scholarship programs.

Swim Strong is still looking for participants and donations for the Tread-A-Thon to benefit local communities, as well as those overseas, to provide important educational programs that can save lives.

“People may not be aware that drowning and near fatal water ac are a silent epidemic. Globally someone does every 70 seconds, and for every death there are five more people suffering brain damage and spinal cord injuries,” said Shawn Slevin of the Swim Strong Foundation. “It really is a big deal. I feel water safety should be in national conversation as chronic heart disease, obesity, diabetes. That’s how life altering issues can be around people not being safe in and around water. For us at Swim Strong we try to speak about water safety in every way we can.”

As of Tuesday, Sept. 26, there are 67 spaces available to participate in the event; each spot is $50.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records website, the current record for the most people treading water in multiple locations “was achieved by 805 participants in an event organised by the municipality De Wolden around the Netherlands, on 1 July 2009.”

Three locations participated in the event with 371 people at the first location, 169 at the second, and 319 at the final location.

Treading water is when you are upright in the water, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Once your body is no longer vertical, it is considered swimming, not treading.

The Tread-A-Thon will take place on Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. (with participants to arrive at 4:30 p.m.) at St. Sebastian Parish Center located at 39-60 57th St. in Woodside.

For more information on how to register or make a donation, visit the Swim Strong website.