Learn to swim with experience in a mobile pool

“If you can’t go to the pool, the pool comes to you.” For Hauts-de-France’s vice president of sports, Florence Pariso, the idea is simple. It remains in place because in some sectors, one in three children cannot swim by the time they reach college.

Faced with this observation, the district of Hauts-de-France decided to develop the learning of swimming in the primary school with a prototype of a mobile swimming pool. It is a small indoor swimming pool equipped with a pool of 8m by 2m, with a depth ranging from 10cm (for the little ones) to 1.20m. For two weeks and until October 15, the installation took place in Marle, in Aisne.

Missing areas

This city of more than 2000 people is one of the many cities Missing areas From the region, where the first marine basin is located 25 km away, in Laon. “It takes more than an hour by bus back and forth to get to the pool. For elementary school kids, that means a long ride of just twenty minutes in the water,” emphasizes Florence Pariso.

It is difficult in these circumstances to learn to swim properly. This is one of the reasons why a quarter of accidental drowning cases in France concern children under the age of 6.

“At Quesnoy, in the north, we made an educational plan around a natural aquarium, for example,” explains Florence Pariso. This time around, the district has founded a Swiss company, Aqua Eatenris, which markets mobile pools that are also accessible for people with limited mobility.

The prototype was tested in Switzerland

The idea was born a few years ago in the mind of Jean-François Buisson, during the humanitarian missions in Morocco. “As part of my activities, I had to teach swimming to avoid deaths during frequent floods. Except in the mountainous regions of the country, there is no swimming pool. We had to mess around with this travel pool,” he says. 20 minutes.

The prototype was then tested in certain Swiss villages in 2018, before the French sports minister, Roxana Marasinho, took an interest in the project. “At her request, the mobile pool was installed in Cergy Pontoise, for two weeks, in the summer of 2019, for recreational activities,” notes its inventor.

The first area to test the device

This initiative has been adopted by the region of Hauts-de-France, but for the sake of a more educational experience. “We are the first area to try this device with the National Swimming and Education Association, with a budget of 50,000 euros,” says Florence Parisso. Pedagogical evaluation should be conducted in early October in a conventional swimming pool to determine the effectiveness of learning.

“Depending on the results, we will or will not deploy the principle in other underdeveloped areas of the region”, Florence Pariso confirms. The cost of buying a swimming pool is between 500,000 and 600,000 euros. Much cheaper than building and maintaining a swimming pool.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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