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.