- Bathers dived into the MuCEM basin in Marseille to denounce the lack of swimming pools in the city.
- According to a report from the Court of Auditors, the swimming pool ratio in Marseille is six times lower than the national average.
A dive to denounce the lack of swimming pool. A dozen bathers jumped into the pool that surrounds the famous Marseille Mucem museum, Monday afternoon, to request its development into a public swimming pool, in an “under-equipped” city.
“In summer, the children of the city center, often deprived of vacation, come in large numbers to defy the swimming ban, but regularly, the police take them out of the water”, accused Alain Ferrero, member of the association The free swimmers, organizer of this wild swim. Regretting a reduced access to the sea for the inhabitants of the northern districts, the working-class districts of Marseille, which are among the poor in Europe.
55% of young Marseillais do not know how to swim
“Here, instead of a boat cemetery, we want a swimming school, this basin would make a great swimming spot”, insisted the organizers of this operation, under a broad sun but in cool water (around 15 degrees Celsius). ), by pointing to these “suction cups” which monopolize the basin.
In a report published in 2018, the magistrates of the Court of Auditors had pointed to a swimming pool ratio per capita in Marseille “six times lower than the national average”. “It’s a shame”, admitted to AFP Sébastien Jibrayel, Sports Assistant of the new left-wing municipality. “In 20 years, eight pools have disappeared across the city,” regretted the elected, specifying that Marseille today has 14 swimming pools for about 860,000 inhabitants.
Consequence of this shortage of pools: according to the tests carried out at the start of the sixth grade and distributed by the academy in 2013, 55% of young Marseillais could not swim when they entered college, with strong disparities between the neighborhoods poor people from the north of the city and rich people from the south. According to Sébastien Jibrayel, a 2009 report from the Ministry of Sports recommended 30 m2 of swimming pool per 1,000 inhabitants: but in 2016, the figures were barely 6 m2 per 1,000 inhabitants in Marseille, and even 4.3 m2 only in the northern neighborhoods. “It’s disrespectful,” he conceded.