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World Aquatics concerned about swimming pool closures and restrictions

World Aquatics concerned about swimming pool closures and restrictions
January 13, 2023

Following a series of recent closures and restrictions and restrictions at swimming pools around the world, notably as a result of elevated energy costs, World Aquatics has expressed its concern and reaffirmed its support for the efforts of its member federations, as the aquatics community works to spread the benefits of regular participation. 

Speaking today, World Aquatics President, Husain Al-Musallam advised "World Aquatics is deeply proud of the way our sports bring together hundreds of millions of people every week, united by water in improving their health, living better lives and enjoying sport

“But these advantages can only be fully enjoyed when there is proper access to the right facilities.”

“We are concerned that in some places access is already being restricted - especially by swimming pool closures, reduced opening hours and big increases in entry prices. This negative impact goes far beyond the regular swimming pool users who are training for competition and is especially troubling when it affects the ability of young people to learn an essential life skill. Swimming pools represent a special opportunity for physical activity and sport, for the very young to the very old. These facilities are deserving of special support."

European Aquatics (LEN) President, António José Silva added "across Europe, the lockdowns of the pandemic meant that tens of millions of children already missed the chance to learn to swim at a time in their lives when this would normally happen.

“For too many communities, those closures have extended straight into a new period without access or with restricted access to swimming pools. Ours is a unique sport that can do more than improve lives - it can save them. Alongside World Aquatics, we are determined to help our member federations to generate the support that is needed to keep swimming pools open.” 

On 13th February LEN and its member federations will meet online to discuss shared approaches to this issue, including communications, the sharing of best practices and European Union resources. 

In addition to supporting its member federations as they work to ensure access to existing swimming pools, World Aquatics and its partners remain committed to further improvements aimed at enhancing environmental stewardship.

One example is seeing World Aquatics partner Myrtha Pools working with ACOR Consultants in Sydney on an ongoing analysis and comparison of pool construction techniques and their impact on the environment.

For Olympic-size pools, Myrtha Pools products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with water recirculation and filtration by as much as 45% over historical construction methods. 

Paris' Olympic Aquatic Centre, one of only two permanent sports venues being built for the 2024 Olympic Games, has been designed entirely with sustainability in mind.

With greatly-reduced energy requirements, it will feature a combined heat pump and filtration unit. Meanwhile, a 5,000 metre² solar installation on the roof will fully power the whole site. The building is being constructed of wood from FSC-certified European forests, and the interior design is based on recycled products made in France.

With thanks to World Aquatics Communication Department.

Images: Emptied and abandoned pool (top, credit Shutterstock) and an architect's concept for the Paris 2024 Olympic Aquatic Centre (below, credit: Paris 2024).

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