Thursday 20 January 2022

Learning to swim is education not sport, court rules


Officials at a small privately-owned swimming pool in Hilversum do not have to check whether the parents of children attending swimming lessons have a valid coronavirus pass, Utrecht district court said on Tuesday.

The court said that swimming lessons should be considered education because learning to swim is in the interests of their personal safety. ‘The main aim is to learn to swim, not to take part in sport,’ the court said. ‘Swimming lessons are therefore not sport.’

The ruling means pool staff do not have to check parents have valid passes if they are bringing their offspring to lessons and helping them get changed. However, parents cannot be admitted to watch the lessons because of the coronavirus rules, the court said.

The swimming pool owner took the issue to court after city council officials threatened him with a €2,500 fine for each pass that was not checked.

City officials must now decide what reaction to give to the pool owner’s formal complaint and the ban on checking passes will remain in place until then, the court said.

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