Dozens of clubs criticize the latest protocol for the use of swimming pools, deemed “discriminatory”
The way in which the maximum attendance is calculated is “discriminatory” in relation to Flemish rules, they argue. “We are, today, in the obligation to refuse access to the swimming pool to more than half of our members, of less than 13 years, registered since the beginning of the season. The constraints of the protocol are such that ‘it is impossible to respond favorably to the objective of the ministerial decree of 29-01-2021 allowing the activity, in groups, of young people between 13 and 18 years old “, communicates the collective on Sunday.
It is the protocol that has been valid since February that poses a problem for the signatory clubs. This makes it possible to resume swimming training and other club activities in the swimming pool for children over 12 years old (up to 18 years old), in the spirit of what had been decided between the Communities at the end of January. But at the same time it is reducing the size of the groups authorized for all children and young people (groups of 10 maximum, where it was 50 previously for 0-12 year olds). On the French-speaking side, we added the rule of total use of the pools limited “to 10 m2 of water per person (or six swimmers maximum per lane in a 25 m pool and 10 swimmers maximum per lane in a 50 m pool). m) “.
The small size of all the groups, including for the smallest (up to 13 years old), as well as this maximum attendance calculated only on the surface of the water body strongly limit the possibility of welcoming everyone, points out the collective which has created its dedicated web page “protocol-pygiène.be”. To the point that the “breath of fresh air” which was supposed to manifest itself for 13-18 year olds is only theoretical, he says.
There is also a “discriminatory” aspect, criticizes the collective: on the Flemish side, the maximum attendance is calculated on the total surface of the swimming pool room, that is to say the body of water and its surroundings, he points out. “This difference in interpretation between the Flemish Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation creates de facto unfair competition to the detriment of the Brussels and Walloon swimming clubs and schools”.