This issue of “sb” is again devoted to pools as its main theme. Owing to the severe modernisation backlog, the squeeze on public finances and changing user expectations, public swimming pools are facing major challenges. This difficult situation has even initiated a debate on the raison d’être of public pools. However, swimming pools play an important role in furthering children’s swimming abilities and meeting the population’s growing demand for individual sports. This is why pools should increasingly communicate their public value to policymakers and the general public. To this end, a “pools alliance” of associations in Germany has been formed to raise the level of public awareness of swimming pools. This is also perhaps a course of action that could be adopted in other countries to improve communication with policymakers.