A swimming pool in the City of Vantaa (Finland), Source: Vantaa Municipality

This Finnish city will allow burkini in the public pools

This Finnish city will allow burkini in the public pools

Vantaa has also given the green light to swimming shorts, so the wardrobe options to pool users have definitely expanded a great deal

The authorities in the Finnish city of Vantaa have decided – from 1 January 2023, users of public pools can have more freedom in choosing their swimming attire, including the somewhat controversial burkini for women. The working hours in the facilities will also be extended by two hours.

But it’s not all freedom and liberties, apparently. On the other hand, the use of phones and smart devices will be prohibited in the dressing and washing areas of the halls. The idea is to digitally detoxify the swimming pool environment and to help people concentrate on the enjoyment and physical benefits that swimming affords.

Easier accessibility to sports

Burkini, also spelt burqini, is the swimwear preferred and worn by women who would like to follow the strict Islamic code of modesty without sacrificing their possibilities to enjoy activities, such as swimming and bathing on the beach.

That specific attire has caused quite a stir, especially in France, where it was deemed to clash with the country’s secular norms. This past summer, the country’s highest administrative court upheld the ban on burkini in public pools.

Finland, however, doesn’t seem to have the same qualms about burkini and at least the City of Vantaa, a suburban town of the capital Helsinki has decided to allow that kind of swimwear for pool users. What’s equally interesting is that swimming shorts will also be allowed. Apparently, the dress code at the local pools was quite restrictive until now.

The new rules for the swimming pools have been modified based on the feedback received from a study done by the Equal Sports project in August 2022. Its aim was to understand how to lower the threshold to practising water sports in general society and make them more appealing and inclusive to larger groups, including immigrants.



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