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Free use of public swimming pool facilities

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will implement the "Free Admission Scheme of LCSD Leisure Facilities" from July 1 to September 30 when people can enjoy free use of its various normally fee-charging leisure facilities including public swimming pools.

The scheme has a three-fold purpose - to support the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, to encourage people to exercise more and to promote community sports to improve their quality of life.

A spokesman for the LCSD said the department would open 36 swimming pools it managed for individuals to use free of charge during the period. Wan Chai Swimming Pool is designated for group training and is not included in the scheme.

"No advance booking is required for free admission to public swimming pools. Before each session starts, people can queue at the entrances to the swimming pool complexes and admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis," the spokesman said.

"We expect a significantly larger number of people will want to use the pools during the period and we will implement flow control as necessary depending on the situation on the ground. Admission will be suspended when a pool complex reaches its maximum capacity. Staff on-site will provide guidance. We appeal to the public for understanding," he said.

"To ensure safety, children under 12 should be accompanied by adults when using the swimming pool facilities. While in the pool complexes, parents should take care of their children," he said.

People are also urged to co-operate to keep the pools clean and hygienic. The spokesman said people who did not feel well should not use the swimming pool facilities. Swimmers should use the toilet if necessary and should not defecate or vomit in the pools. Before entering the pool deck areas, they should shower in the changing rooms, and walk through the shower baths and footbaths.

Swimmers needing to use the coin-return lockers are reminded to bring along five-dollar coins which they can get back after using the lockers.

Extra manpower and lifeguards will be deployed to strengthen the life-saving service, and maintain order at the entrances to the pool complexes, the spokesman said.

During the period of the "Free Admission Scheme of LCSD Leisure Facilities", the weekly cleansing operations will be conducted at pool complexes as usual to maintain good hygiene. Cleansing operations will be conducted from 10am until the end of the second opening session. The pools will re-open in the third opening session on the same day. If the scheduled weekly cleansing day falls on a public holiday, cleansing will be rescheduled to another weekday in the same week. Please check the opening hours and weekly cleansing schedule of public swimming pools at the LCSD website

Ends/Saturday, June 28, 2008
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