Swimming Pool of Novo Mesto’s Pilot Site now equipped with a pool lift for disabled users

March 2024

On 14th February 2024, our Pilot City Novo Mesto officially unveiled a new water access lift for the swimming pool at their Pilot site. The purchase by the Municipality of Novo Mesto was made possible through the backing of the VARCITIES.

The i-Swim mobile swimming pool lift for disabled individuals was handed over to the Novo Mesto’s swimming pool in the presence of the President of the Slovenian Paralympic Committee Damijan Lazar, the President of the Association of Paraplegics of Dolenjska, Bela Krajina and Posavje Jože Okoren and the Mayor of the Municipality of Novo Mesto Gregor Macedoni.

Within the Češča Vas recreational area, the Municipality of Novo Mesto supported the development of Novo Mesto Olympic Centre. Conceived as a comprehensive sports and recreation complex, with top-class sports facilities, functions as a national training centre for cycling, athletics and triathlon, the Olympic Center also wants to encourage all citizens to enjoy quality leisure time, recreation and exercise with diverse indoor and outdoor areas for exercise. The new 25-meter swimming pool, which began operating on 1st September 2023 fulfilled the long-standing dream of Novo mesto residents to swim recreationally and participate in swimming sports in their hometown.

At the Olympic Centre, special attention is given to people with various disabilities. For example, a sensory path for the blind and partially sighted has been established near the equestrian centre, which provides hippotherapy, and the swimming pool was originally built to be accessible to the disabled. The new pool lift unveiled on 14th February 2024 supports water accessibility for individuals with physical disabilities, catering not only to those in wheelchairs but also accommodating individuals on crutches, with splints, the elderly, and others facing physical challenges.

The use of the pool lift was demonstrated by paraswimmer Aleš Sečnik, the world record holder in his category.

As the president of the Association of Paraplegics of Dolenjska, Bela Krajina and Posavje, Jože Okoren, pointed out, for the vast majority of disabled people, swimming, exercising in water and performing physiotherapy are an important part of maintaining health at all ages. Swimming is very beneficial for them, both in terms of rehabilitation and as one of the most important special social programs for the disabled. It is known, however, that swimmers are also “born” from amateur and recreational swimming – athletes who are in the competitive process and are also placed in national teams, and also perform at the Paralympic Games.

We are happy that during the half year of operation, Novo mesto Swimming Pool has become well known to local and national sports clubs, who use its facilities on a daily basis, that children from Novo mesto schools and kindergartens, as well as children from more distant places, are regular guests and that more and more individuals choose recreational swimming. Even more, we want to bring the swimming pool and the entire Olympic Centre closer to population groups that are not so close to playing sports, with a special emphasis on the healthy development of young people, on improving the quality of life of the elderly population and on raising the quality of life of vulnerable groups, with various group’s very specific mobility needs and challenges“, said Deputy Mayor of Novo Mesto Urban Kramar when handing over the elevator and pointed out the guiding principle of VARCITIES that only when the infrastructure takes on a human dimension its purpose be fulfilled.

We hope that with the purchase of a pool lift for the disabled, we have added to this human dimension and contributed to the fact that the Novo mesto Swimming Pool is even more accessible, even more friendly“, the deputy mayor concluded his speech and invited disabled people from the region and the whole of Slovenia to use the pool.

Novo Mesto Swimming is one of the five swimming pools in Slovenia equipped with such special lifts to aid disabled individuals in accessing the water.

Check out the educational video made during the event:

Discover more about Novo Mesto’s Pilot on their Pilot page.