German Swimming Association Membership Numbers Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

The German Swimming Association (DSV) has announced that its membership has returned to pre-pandemic numbers. The association had a loss of about 51,000 members during the pandemic.

As of January 1, 2024, DSV was home to 588,438 members. That was an increase of 25,455 from last year. In addition, the number of clubs also increased from 2,313 to 2,325. During COVID, membership fell to 527,219 members, roughly an 8.8% decrease. The numbers were the lowest since the reunification of Germany.

DSV announced that the largest increase in membership was in the younger ages, specifically in children up to the age of 14. The 14 and under age group made up 17,356 (out of the 25,455) new members.

“Most people join the club immediately after swimming lessons. Our increase is therefore proof that, despite the ongoing lack of water areas, our clubs are doing their best to improve the swimming ability of the younger generation. I would like to take this opportunity to expressly thank all the training staff for this,” said DSV board member  Kai Morgenroth .

Morgenroth continued saying, “However, a return to the status quo cannot adequately remedy the consequences of the COVID period; we need even greater growth for that. However, maintaining the culture of swimming should not only depend on volunteers; stronger political support is urgently needed here. In order to increase swimming training, investment programs for the infrastructure and also for the required specialists are needed immediately. The aim must be for swimming to become a regular part of physical education lessons in primary schools again and for every child to be able to swim safely after leaving primary school. And the expense is also worthwhile for all other age groups, because swimming is still one of the most popular sports among Germans, and above all, the healthiest.”  

DSV’s numbers are much more positive compared to USA Swimming’s membership numbers in recent years. USA Swimming had a decline of 363,093 (-11.8%) members in 2020 during the pandemic. Although membership has increased since then, the most recent data showed a membership number of 375,827, still down from 411,672 members in 2019. In addition, USA Swimming membership was up after the Tokyo Olympics with a total of 393,970 members in 2022.

Both organizations will look for growth after this year as Olympic years tend to increase membership.

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Buffalo Joe
1 month ago

Germany has 25% our population yet has more people in swimming? Not a good look for USA swimming

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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