Berlin Coach In Plea To Resume Training At Outdoor Pools And Warns Of Potential Closures

Photo Courtesy: Allie Peters

The head of a swim school in Berlin, Germany, has called for training to resume in outdoor pools with a plea to end “discrimination” against commercial operations and to ward off potential closures.

Alexander Steinhart is the managing director and coach at XRay Sports in the German capital which provides learn-to-swim programmes as well as training for competitive swimmers and triathletes.

Outdoor pools reopened in May and although elite athletes can swim, there are no controlled training sessions without special arrangements with the lido and local authority.

Indoor pools have yet to reopen and discussions are ongoing as to when  they may be able to do so with pool operators having to submit plans to local authorities.


Photo Courtesy: XRay Sports Facebook

X-Ray Sports released a statement which read:

“Swimming training in the Berlin pools must be made possible again. After months of being banned from working due to the COVID 19 situation, the Berlin Senate and the Berlin baths are now responsible for publishing a concept that also includes the use of the summer baths by swimming coaches threatening their very existence.

“There is currently a blatant discrimination against commercial sport in Berlin. This affects our existence as a swimming sport company and countless other trainers in Berlin. In this difficult emergency situation, we can only survive this crisis together.

“‘Why in our sports metropolis for organised sports, i.e. clubs, other requirements should apply than e.g. for private swimming coaches or swimming schools I cannot understand it,’ says XRay sports managing director and swimming coach Alexander Steinhart.

“‘All players in sport must be equally considered and supported. In addition, commercial sport must not be disadvantaged compared to other industries. Every existence counts in the face of this severe crisis.

“In our view, resuming swimming training in the Berlin summer pools is possible and can be implemented even if various important safety measures are observed. Other federal states show us how.


Photo Courtesy: XRay Sports

“We have already submitted conceptual proposals for gradual resumption in compliance with the distance and safety requirements to the Berlin swimming pools.

“Especially in the current COVID 19 situation, individual personal training with one or two athletes/children is the measure of all things. This allows large groups to be avoided and children still learn to swim. Blockades are inappropriate here.

“Rather, broad and transparent communication with all actors and user groups is now important and necessary. This is the only way to optimally use all options and avoid bankruptcies.

“We at XRay sports® are convinced that together we can master the crisis. Let’s tackle it together now!”