Courses for children are fully booked in minutes

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Of: Melina Starr

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Many children want to learn to swim: the pandemic has caused a huge wave of non-swimmers to build up. “The pools are the bottleneck” Volunteers are still wanted © dpa

The demand for swimming lessons for children in the district remains high. However, the situation has worsened again due to devices that have been canceled due to Corona.

Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen – “Our swimming courses are still in great demand,” reports Maximilian Gießelmann from DLRG Geretsried. New courses with 30 places are fully booked online in minutes. A beginner swimming course at the DLRG Schäftlarn-Wolfratshausen was recently completed in less than 45 minutes. “Demand is still very high, we can not offer enough courses,” says the other chairman, Mathias Feichtbauer. This is partly due to the fact that the local group for beginner swimming courses in the inter-municipal swimming pool in Geretsried only has two hours per week available, and partly due to the limited coaching resources, ”due to we also want to offer high quality ”. Volunteers are constantly being sought because at DLRG, everything is done by volunteers.

Certificate of value from the Free State

This school year, all preschoolers and first graders also received a coupon of 50 euros from the free state of Bavaria for a beginner swimming course. “In fact, almost all of the participants hand this over to us,” Feichtbauer says.

The action of the state government was basically great, says Jakob Jungmeier from the district’s water rescue service. “But at the same time it was a big challenge for us.” There was not enough capacity to redeem all the vouchers so quickly and at such short notice. In the meantime, however, the situation has eased somewhat. “Thanks to the great performance of our swimming instructors, who are more committed than ever.” However, not all inquiries are taken into account. “Waiting times of half a year happen again and again.”

Older children are still looking for seats

Most of the children are between 6 and 9 years old, says Gießelmann. “But older children keep coming to us, still desperately looking for a swimming course space.” In total, the DLRG Geretsried 2021/22 allocated almost 200 swimming course places, which is about 70 more than in previous years. “We have responded to the increased demand that has arisen due to the corona-related swimming neck closures.” The swimming courses take place in the inter-municipal swimming pool, “fortunately we can also offer courses during the school holidays,” says Gießelmann.

“I could teach 24 hours a day”

Also at the swimming school Silvana Wetzel from Bad Tölz, the bustle is unbroken. “The demand for swimming courses is still very high,” she says. “I could also hold courses 24 hours a day.” Most recently, she has been asked by Lenggries municipality to hold swimming courses in “Isarwelle” on Monday and Friday. The offer was aimed at children from the local community and was to help them get used to the water and take their first steps in swimming. The course will be repeated. In the summer, Silvana Wetzel continues to provide swimming lessons in the Rottach outdoor pool. “I’m very grateful and happy for that.” Parents would take their children there from Jachenau. Due to the closure of the baths in Bad Wiessee, Wetzel lost a place where she could otherwise hold courses. In Bad Tölz in the indoor pool, she still gets no swimming times to hold her own courses there. There she follows school swimming courses, as well as in the teaching pool in high school.

“The bathrooms are the bottleneck”

Both bathrooms will be renovated in the near future, as reported on an ongoing basis. Swimming times are therefore canceled. These are actually already a problem, as Jungmeier confirms. “We are seeing a clear and increasing deterioration as everything becomes more expensive and sparse. The basins are the bottleneck. ” In many places, it is no longer possible to offer swimming courses at recent years’ prices because pool operators and communities no longer prioritize swimming courses as necessary, he laments. Depending on the location, the lifeguards receive support in the form of free bathing time – or not. The local groups would report that the situation was fine, “but it’s getting harder and harder”. It is only possible to offer swimming lessons in a few days during the week. “And on the weekends, the regular bathers should not be disturbed.”

“Starnberger-See-Hest”

In order to offer swimming lessons beyond the two hours a week in the Geretsried indoor pool, DLRG Schäftlarn-Wolfratshausen will again offer “Starnberger-See-Pferdchen” in the summer when the water temperature in Lake Starnberg is warm enough, says Mathias Feichtbauer. “This is the opportunity to, after a short intensive training, put the seahorse mark in Starnbergsøen in front of our water rescue station.” But of course you are very dependent on the weather here, and there is no call for tenders yet.

Many work on a voluntary basis

Under the sometimes difficult conditions and in light of the fact that all swimming instructors work on a voluntary basis, it is “an incredible achievement” to have so many swimming lanes established, says Jakob Jungmaier. This year, there are about 40 from the district’s water rescue service, spread across the entire district, all of which are fully booked. “We are striving for a tutor key where two to three children can learn to swim per instructor.” This means that a lot of volunteers are also needed for the lifeguard. As the coaches perform so many different tasks on a voluntary basis, Maximilian Gießelmann emphasizes that they are always looking for new team members. “Everyone who enjoys swimming, even those who are new to swimming, is very welcome here.”

Preparation for great action

Basically, one is happy with the number of volunteers, but “especially in the southern part of the city, there is still room for improvement among the helpers,” says Jakob Jungmeier. Fortunately, committed young people, some of whom grew up in the water rescue service, could be won as supporters. There are also several additional training courses for potential swim instructors.

Five new employees successfully completed their training last month, reports Jungmeier, who is currently preparing for a major campaign with local groups in the district. This year, in the week before the summer holidays, 700 fourth-graders will be made fresh for the summer under the title “Bayern schwimmt”. “Over the past two years, the pools have been closed, swimming lessons or swimming lessons have not been able to take place, so the current primary school students had virtually no opportunity to learn to swim.” The children should have the opportunity to attend a swimming course or a day to take swimming marks.

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