Paris 2024 has joined the French Swimming Federation (FFN), UNICEF France and thousands of people across France to celebrate La Nuit de I’Eau (Night of Water). The event was attended by the leadership team of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid to help underline access to swimming as a key legacy goal of the project.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has also made it her goal to bring public swimming back to the River Seine by 2024, in time for the Games.
Le Nuit de I’Eau is an annual charity and sports event in France that Since 2008 has increased awareness about the importance of water as a vital resource and has raised money to support UNICEF’s safe access to drinking water programs for children around the world.
More than 200 swimming pools and clubs across France open their doors for one night each year, and stage events that promote water safety, education and fun while encouraging people to donate to a good cause. Over the past nine years more than 1.5 million euros have been generated from the event. This year, money raised will go to help children in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew.
A key legacy goal for Paris 2024 is to promote the idea of better access to swimming and encouraging more young people to take up the sport, as well as the development of a new Aquatics Centre in Seine-Saint-Denis, the area of Greater Paris where Paris 2024’s urban development project will be centered and is a core part of that plan.
The city has set aside 150 million euros for investment in modernizing and creating new swimming pools in Paris by 2020.
Paris 2024 Co-Chair Tony Estanguet said, “in Saint-Denis, we will build our much-needed Aquatics Centre, which will help address the current problem that one child out of every two in the area hasn’t learned to swim by the time they are 11-years-old.”
“When it is handed over to the local community after the Games as part of our legacy promise, the Aquatics Centre will provide an accessible, state-of-the-art facility that teaches water safety to local children and encourages them to take up swimming.”
Paris and Los Angeles are bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The host city will be elected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) September 13 in Lima, Peru.