Pilot project at the Hanover base ensures safe training operations in times of pandemics

The German Swimming Association e.V. (DSV), together with its partners, is constantly looking for innovative solutions to cope with the pandemic and to maintain sporting activities even in times of corona. Together with the technology company RLE INTERNATIONAL, a pilot project was launched at the national base in Hanover, which shows how safe training can be guaranteed even in times of a pandemic.

With entrance control, temperature measurement, the room booking software WePlace and digital data collection, the risk of access by infected persons to the training facility can be reduced to a minimum and contact tracking can be ensured. This is all done contactlessly and digitally through the RLE Hygiene Station and a connected app. The device also includes an integrated contactless dispenser for hand disinfection.

By using the hygiene station, there is no need for staff to keep lists, manually check the body temperature of visitors and athletes and thus expose them to further risk of infection. Once users have completed the temperature check on the device, the data is automatically recorded for identification, access authorisation and tracking of visitor flows under Corona regulations. This allows the status of all visitors and staff to be tracked and all reporting chains to be controlled directly and efficiently. The systems have the highest security standard for encrypted data collection and are DSGVO-compliant.

Highest security standard

“RLE’s concepts and solutions provide additional security for access to the training site,” says DSV President Marco Troll. “Thanks to the fully digital contact tracking, we keep track of everything and can immediately provide the authorities with the necessary data in case of suspicion. The systems give us the possibility to reduce the contact group to the actual contact persons. This narrowing down possibility allows us to maintain training operations. We are therefore very happy that we have found a cooperation partner in RLE INTERNATIONAL, which supports us with its years of know-how in the fields of engineering and construction and enables us to offer our clubs and the pool operators the best possible conditions.”

The company, based in Overath near Cologne, has stood for innovative know-how in the core areas of engineering and construction for over 30 years. As part of the Hygiene Alliance, RLE offers fully comprehensive solutions for hygiene concepts, from immediate measures to audits and certifications.

“Our constant willingness to innovate and transfer technology from the mobility sector into other industries and applications is part of our core competence in research and development. The pilot project with the German Swimming Association in times of the pandemic shows us how broad this range can be. We also see our contribution in the future in the ever-evolving technologies and digitalisation,” Ralf Laufenberg, CEO of the RLE INTERNATIONAL group of companies, explains.

Offers for competitive and popular sports

The national water polo base at the Lower Saxony Olympic Training Centre (OSP) was chosen as a reference project due to the complexity of the buildings and facilities as well as the extensive visitor flows. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we had to quickly adapt to the situation. Concepts, visitor lists, questionnaires and forms initially had to be created and maintained manually with a high level of personnel. With RLE INTERNATIONAL as a partner, we succeeded in digitalising the processes and making the operation of the base considerably safer,” says Holger Rähse, national base manager for water polo at the OSP.

In addition to the RLE hygiene station, a comprehensive rapid testing concept was set up together with the Waspo and White Sharks Hannover water polo teams. For the more than 60 squad athletes, the Lower Saxony Swimming Association (LSN) takes over the testing in cooperation with the clubs. RLE INTERNATIONAL supplies the site with the required and approved rapid tests and ensures continuous availability. Combined with the comprehensive hygiene concept of the DSV, this lays the foundation for safe operation of the Lower Saxony federal base.

“It gives us a good feeling to see the technical possibilities in action at the national base in Hanover,” says national water polo player and DSV athlete* spokesman Tobias Preuß of Waspo 98 Hanover. “We are happy that we can continue to train and prepare for future events. Concepts like those of the German Swimming Federation and RLE INTERNATIONAL are important building blocks to protect ourselves and others and not to stand in front of closed doors again at some point.”

In addition to competitive sports, however, swimming clubs and popular sports can also benefit from this and make their training operations Corona-compliant by using the digital solutions. The DSV and RLE INTERNATIONAL have developed a viable concept for this, which can be made available to all federations, clubs and sports facility operators in a modular manner and can be useful when reopening indoor and outdoor pools.

From pandemic to digitalisation

At the moment, the greatest danger comes from the coronavirus. In addition to this current threat, other viruses, bacteria, particulate matter or pollen can also lead to illnesses in athletes, which may not be as severe and cause as many deaths as Covid-19, but which nevertheless lead to training cancellations and competition cancellations. The RLE’s systems permanently help to minimise the health risks for athletes and the associated absences. “Measures to protect and combat pathogens will have to become part of everyday life. The installation of sustainable solutions to permanently reduce the risk of infection is and will remain necessary,” says Dr Bärbel Blümel, Head of BU After Sales Solutions at RLE INTERNATIONAL.

In the long term, the solutions required by Covid-19 should lead to digitalisation and further optimisation of the processes in the athletes’ daily routine. The continuous recording and evaluation of the relevant data supports the athletes and their coaches in training documentation and contributes to the targeted improvement of performance. The DSV has also been pushing the issue of digitalisation for some time now, including in the area of training and further education with the introduction of a new e-learning platform.

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