German State Investing €50 Million to Improve Public Pools

The German Swimming Association, in an effort to revive their public swimming pools, announced yesterday that Hessian state government has launched the pool investment and modernization program, launching in 2019.

While the first announced investment will be €50 million (nearly $60,000,000) into state pools, more cities will apply for funding in 2018, accompanied by measures to revive their pools.

“Our swimming clubs make an enormous contribution to the well-being of society,” Association Vice President Wolfgang Hein said (translated from German). “They bring qualified swimming to the children with the help of qualified staff and, with their varied offerings for fun, competition, health and fitness in all age groups.”

He also noted that the number of children who learn to swim is decreasing in Germany. For this reason, funds should be used for “functional” pools, rather than ones intended for leisure. Hein believes that having pools in closer proximity to schools will increase the likelihood of school-age children learning to swim.

The public pool scarcity is not unique to Hessen: “Other federal states, as well as the federal government and as well as affected municipalities, should also act, invest in functional pools and pull together as much as possible,” Hein said. 

With German swimmers largely absent from the international podium in recent years, a rebuild from the bottom-up should only do the nation good.

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Hopefully, the U.S. can catch on to this. There are too many splash parks replacing pools these days as well as lazy rivers that people walk in or use flotation devices to cover for the fact they lack the skills required to float.


I agree but those lazy rivers and water parks should still be there in some sort of fashion. People should be able to exercise and be able have water safety skills but they should also have the ability to relax at a water park once in awhile.


I was at a meeting last night discussing the re-opening of a much loved, but fund-deprived facility. In my own town, there has been a strong recognition of the benefits of aquatic programming and the pool has been a priority. Unfortunately, like much of the rest of western NC, this place just wasn’t feeling the love. An investment like this would be a welcome thing for many municipalities in the area who shut their pools in the wake of 2008.

Steve Nolan

Germany also doesn’t have a billion backyard pools like the US does.

Met some Germans this spring and one of their first questions – “Does everyone have a pool in America!?”

Pulled up the Google Maps satellite image of my incredibly middle-class childhood neighborhood…6 pools. Out of maybe 15-20 houses.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majors in Media Studies and American Studies at Claremont McKenna College. When she's not writing about swimming or baseball, you can probably find her listening to a podcast or in a pool ... and/or watching Seinfeld, which she just realized is funny.

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