Tallinn refuses to allow more than two children on family pool ticket

Swimming pool of Tallinn's Sõle Sports Facility
Swimming pool of Tallinn's Sõle Sports Facility Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev does not trust families visiting city swimming pools and suspects that by allowing three kids on a family ticket, the city would encourage taking along friends.

Toward the end of August, ERR wrote about service providers whose family tickets generally mean two adults and two children who can often only be up to 14 years of age. Among establishments that use such an approach are Tallinn's municipal swimming pools.

The article prompted member of the EKRE group in the Tallinn City Council Mart Kallas to write to Deputy Mayor Belobrovtsev to ask why Tallinn officials define a family as having just two kids no older than 14.

The deputy mayor replied that the price formation of family tickets considers both general practices usually followed by private swimming pools and local experience. He also pointed to the risk of attempts to misuse family tickets should more kids be allowed.

"The staff have no way of checking whether the children accompanying adults are theirs or whether friends have been brought along. For that reason, groups looking to use family tickets have been restricted to four people. In normal practice, this indeed stands for two adults and two children. At the same time, swimming pools have been told to be flexible, and families with three children have always been allowed to purchase a family ticket," Belobrovtsev wrote in his reply, adding that it is also possible to buy tickets for additional children for €1.50.

How swimming pools can be sure two kids are members of the same family the deputy mayor did not specify.

"Municipal sports facilities' price formation also follows the task of generating revenue. This means that raising the number of children on a family ticket would translate into price advance that would displease families with one or two kids," Belobrovtsev said.

After ERR pointed out city sporting facilities only treat as children up to 14-year-olds, the age limit has been raised to 16.

"The age restriction is from earlier times and was based on experience that older children usually do not visit facilities with their parents. The age limit has been changed by today, and young people up to the age of 16 can now go swimming using family tickets," the deputy mayor said.

The price list of the Sõle sports facility's swimming pool that is owned by the city still says a family ticket covers two adults and two children up to the age of 14.

The city operates the Sõle, Nõmme and Õismäe swimming pools as well as the one at the Tallinn English College.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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