Following recent swimming pool closures and restrictions, notably those caused by 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.
“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,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam. “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,” continued Al-Musallam.
“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.”
“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,” added European Aquatics (LEN) President António José Silva. “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 13 February LEN and its member federations will meet online to discuss shared approaches to this issue, including communications, the sharing of best practices and EU 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. For example:
World Aquatics partner Myrtha Pools is 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.
The Olympic Aquatic Centre, one of only two permanent sports venues being built for Paris 2024, 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 m2 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.