In this week’s blog post we share with you a campaign run by Swim England regarding a government proposed budget that will significantly impact the access to pools for our communities. We would like to highlight the significance of pools for both swimmers and volunteers alike and how a life without pools is not a future we would like to envisage.
Almost 2000 Pools Could Be Lost Forever
Swimming facilities built in England almost one century ago are nearing the end of their lifespan and, due to the limited budgets allocated to maintaining them, could become unavailable in the next ten years. To put this into numbers, based on current government spending, the total number of pools available for swimming will decrease by more than 40% by the end of the decade, as outlined by the Swim England report ‘A Decade of Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England’.
What Do Pools Mean to You?
In this post, we would like to share some of the experiences of both our swimmers and volunteers.
For our swimmers, joining the club and swimming every week or fortnightly is a mixture of socialising, improving physical and mental wellbeing, and gaining water confidence. The pool closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have significantly impacted our members ability to experience the activities they loved, as Kenn has shared with us in a previous blog post. This has given a glimpse of what impact restricted access to wellness facilities can have. Future closures to pools could cause increased strain on the capacity of the facilities that do remain available, making them less accessible.
For our volunteers, swimming is part of their weekly routine, supporting their fitness goals and helping them relax. Sujata, one of our volunteers, has shared with us that she swims every Sunday, which helps her with reducing stress accumulated from daily life. The current swimming facilities are in need of maintenance over the following years as they are ‘hubs to local communities, which help people of all ages to lead happier and healthier lives’.
A Call to Action
We would like to encourage our club members and readers to consider the importance of pools to their lives. We would be happy to hear what pools mean to you in the comments. The government budget is to be approved on 27/10/2021, so any action taken by then would be the most impactful. Please contribute by writing a letter to your MP using the following template, and by sharing the #LifeWithoutPools message on social media.