ATV Dorstfeld swimmers on the move

ATV Dorstfelds Chairman (from left) Albrecht Strube (Vice Chairman), Hans Urbaniak (Vice Chairman) and Karl-Otto Galler (1st Chairman)
Albrecht Strube (from left), Hans Urbaniak and Karl-Otto Galler from the ATV panel. It is with a heavy heart that they must prepare to leave Westbad. © Alaina-Sophie Dulger

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“It was a decision against the will of the citizens,” says Albrecht Strube. He is the vice president of ATV Dorstfeld. But now you have to look ahead. The battle for the bathroom began years ago when ATV was simply overwhelmed by the city’s decision, says president Carl-Otto Galler.

For a long time, the club and the Dorsfelders fought to keep the indoor swimming pool in the west of Dortmund. Now, however, acceptance is spreading within the club. Farewell is approaching: the swimming pool, which was supposed to remain open until St. Nicholas, is already closed to the public. A move to Wischlingen is imminent for the ATV swimming division.

The association should thank Hans Urbaniak for the fact that the baths came to Dorstfeld at all and added to the sports center there. Urbaniak was in the SPD Dortmund Bundestag for 33 years in both Bonn and Berlin after reunification.

Once he presented the plans and location proposal to the city council. “It was difficult at the time because many interested parties in the West wanted a bathroom,” Urbaniak recalls. Including the university. But there were better location factors for Urbaniak in Dorstfeld;

Exterior view of Westbad in Dorstfeld
The closure of Westbad in Dorstfeld is imminent. Currently, only school classes and the club have access to the pool. The public is no longer allowed to enter. © Alaina-Sophie Dulger

Good luck to the swimming department

In the end, there was a majority for Dorstfeld. It was certainly in ATV’s favor, SC Dorstfeld 09 football club did not have specialist staff, ATV did. This is how the swimming section came into being in a general gymnastics club, not a sports club.

Today, the swimming department has 250 members. “We offer water aerobics, competitive swimming, children’s classes and much more,” says Albrecht Strube. The club has also organized major competitions and championships.

The strength also depends on the population of Dorstfeld. “The bathhouse here was accepted by the people,” says Urbaniak. It was always there, and the courses were fully booked. The decision to locate in Dorstfeld would be appropriate.

It is still not clear how it will develop in Wischlingen. But the young and dedicated swimming department around Thomas Fehrlemann is trying to do everything possible to keep club swimming a success in nearby Wischlingen.

Pool at Westbad
The swimming section of ATV Dorstfeld has trained in Westbad for nearly 40 years. © Alaina-Sophie Dulger

Swimming lessons for everyone

Next year, Westbud would celebrate its 40th anniversary. “The first was children’s swimming,” says Galler. “Germany was considered a country of non-swimmers,” he says and laughs. The club has contributed to countering this claim.

Funke Elementary School and Gutenberg Elementary School used the pool in the morning. The journey is short, which is practical, says Urbaniak. “The paths will be much longer for the kids.” Swim times may suffer because of this.

The future of swimmers

“But we are going there with optimism,” says Strube. The association hopes that many members will not be lost as a result of the move. It is certain that the sports center of Dorstfeld will lose a building material of vital importance.

Children's pool in Westbad
In fact, the children’s pool in Westbad is always full. Westbad has always had a lot of visitors. © Alaina-Sophie Dulger

The transfer to “Wischlingen” should actually take place at the end of the year. It is still unclear whether the deadline can be met. The club can also swim in the Westbad until Wischlingen opens.

When we met with management on site, the final closure of the pool had not yet been decided. One thing is certain: Westbud will no longer be open to the public. During that meeting, the men had already suspected.

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