Beyond the Game: A record with a purpose

Beyond the Game treading water (KATV photo)

The Little Rock Trojans swimming and diving team was joined by a group of high school swimmers to help set a Guinness World Record. It's not everyday that happens at practice.

"This is a fun thing. This is kind of different, something new," Little Rock Swimming and Diving Head Coach Amy Burgess said.

Little Rock, in collaboration with the International Water Safety Foundation, joined a nationwide effort to try to set the record for "most people treading water at the same time in multiple locations." There is no confirmation yet the new record was set; the current record is 805, set in the Netherlands in 2009.

Setting a record may be fun, but there was a bigger purpose: diminish drowning. The International Life Saving Federation estimates 1.2 million people lose their lives to drowning each year.

"It makes us think, what are the statistics here in Arkansas and what can we do to help?" Burgess asked.

In addition to raising awareness, money raised nationwide will go towards scholarships and organizations that provide instruction in swimming, water safety and rescue skills, particularly in developing countries.

"This is bigger than them," Burgess said. "This is bigger than any lap they swim."

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