Sports and education organizations in France expressed their displeasure on Tuesday over the closure of some 30 swimming pools, whose owner claimed that rising heating costs made them unprofitable.
All children and adults who won’t be able to learn to swim as a result of these restrictions, according to a statement from the French Swimming Federation (FFN), which demanded the “rapid” reopening of the pools.
Vert Marine, which manages swimming pools and skating rinks throughout France, announced on Monday that its yearly energy expense had increased from 15 million euros to 100 million euros ($99 million), which it claimed was equivalent to “the company’s whole annual earnings.”
According to the firm, “local governments and authorities must take required and extraordinary actions to return to manageable energy rates.”
According to France Urbaine, a federation of large towns and cities, local governments are themselves having difficulty keeping up with rising expenses that have doubled in some locations.
The physical education union SNEP issued a warning that the 800,000 schoolchildren who were prevented from learning to swim in 2020 and 2021 as a result of pool closures during the coronavirus outbreak.
Swimming has been widely pushed by the sports ministry as a means of reducing unintentional drownings.
The SNEP stated that the “educational, health, pleasure, and safety benefits of swimming should not be put ahead of the public interest” when balancing the books for private corporations that maintain some pools.
A government working committee on energy conservation is going to look more closely at the outdated and energy-intensive pools and ice rinks in France.