On 8 and 9 November 2017, representatives of swimming pool and wellness associations from 16 countries met in Cologne to form an international alliance of associations.
The following countries were present at the “kick-off”: Australia, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey the UK and USA.
The hosts were Bert Granderath, Vice President of the German Bundesverband Schwimmbad & Wellness e.V. (bsw), bsw’s Managing Director Dieter C. Rangol, Andreas Petridis, President of the European Union of Swimming Pool and Spa Associations (EUSA), Chris Hayes, Managing Director of the British Swimming Pool Federation (BSPF) and Rich Gottwald, President and Managing Director of the American Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP).
Koelnmesse organised the meeting during the aquanale specialist international swimming pool and wellness exhibition.
It was agreed to jointly form an informal working group which is to bear the name of “World Alliance of Pool & Spa Associations (WAPSA)” and which would be open to swimming pool and wellness associations worldwide. Initially, it is intended to concentrate on consolidating data and statistics from all the associations and to exchange training and development concepts and issues relating to safety.
Pooling expertise, expanding networks, assuring quality – Bert Granderath describes the aims of this international alliance with these words. Dieter C. Rangol adds: “A common structure can, for one thing, help the sector to improve its communication with politicians and government and for another, it can provide impetus for further PR and marketing activities.”
“An alliance of national associations to promote and protect the interests of the pool & spa industry worldwide” – that is the joint mission.
The upcoming meeting is to be held in November 2018 at the Piscine Global in Lyons.