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Canberra Olympic Pool trials gender-specific sessions

Lachlan Roberts 16 October 2019 11
Canberra Olympic Pool

Canberra Olympic Pool has launched a trial of gender-specific sessions. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra Olympic Pool has caused a splash after it launched a month-long trial of gender-specific swimming sessions this October.

The trial started on 5 October, with the public swimming pool hosting female-only sessions every Saturday evening and male-only sessions every Sunday evening, after a call for more inclusive pool access for Canberrans from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

Canberra Olympic Pool said its trial, which is being run in conjunction with the ACT Government, was aimed at “maximising patronage” while also “minimising barriers” for all community groups wanting to use public swimming pools.

Canberra Muslim community leader Mainul Haque said the request for gender-specific sessions was made to make women feel comfortable.

“Ladies from my community are often reserved and shy so the privacy of women-only sessions will encourage them to attend,” Mr Haque shared. “Gender-specific sessions include all women: black, white, brown, Hindu, Muslim or Christian.

“Most of the women in my community do not engage in physical activity so if we provide them with a safe place, it will help them to be physically active. A healthy mother will provide a healthy family. A healthy family will help us to have a healthy community.

“Once a few of them get involved; hopefully, it will have a trickle-effect in the community so other members of the community who see their friends doing some exercise will also get involved.”

Mr Haque said the sessions, which also provide learn-to-swim classes, would teach members of his community water safety.

“Every summer, we hear that people are drowning at beaches and so on,” he said. “Normally these are people from a migrant background because they haven’t been taught how to swim. So the sessions will help them have basic water safety skills.”

Mr Haque said staff from Canberra Olympic Pool had told him that the first two female-only sessions had been strongly attended.

“We are not asking for any special treatment or anything,” he said. “These sessions are in the evening when most people are at home having dinner. I think most people like going for a swim without being gazed at.”

In a statement, Canberra Olympic Pool management said the trial would be evaluated at the end of the month with feedback from all patrons, and a decision would be made about whether the program should continue.

Canberra Olympic Pool
Female-only sessions: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm on 19 & 26 October
Male-only sessions: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm on 20 & 27 October.


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11 Responses to Canberra Olympic Pool trials gender-specific sessions
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wottaway wottaway 9:17 pm 20 Oct 19

Another damn example of the Muslim thin end of the wedge……by ‘diverse’, they mean ‘dividing’ and the only reason women of their culture feel shy etc. is because their men have so much control over them. You’re going very well down there Canberra, marijuana, Greens and their 16yr old voters, you’re sending what used to be a beautiful city to live in downhill into a dump faster than Peter Brock late on a Sunday afternoon.

larissa larissa 6:43 am 18 Oct 19

I don’t believe this is conducive to our inclusive society.
Our men are mostly lovely and women shouldn’t be kept away from them but allowed to experience what it’s like to be around gentle, protective, male influences.
Also what if someone identified as female? Would they be allowed in? Or vice versa?
Also I can no longer swim with my family on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it is not evening as stated 5.30 is afternoon, as I am a mother with a husband, son and daughter.
We have gone to Civic pool in the Spring and summer on weekends, usually Saturday, afternoons for years.
And the whole gender neutral thing, how does that fit with this??
I hope this trial is not put in place, I think it’s so wrong for our Australia.
Please tell me, am I out of line for thinking this is wrong??

rationalobserver rationalobserver 5:44 pm 17 Oct 19

People assume that multiculturalism means we are all one big happy family, but in fact it really means that we end up as a number of (often incompatible) tribes, each with their own separate culture.
I wonder what night is set aside for white middle aged Christian Australian males?

Theresa Manning Theresa Manning 12:39 pm 17 Oct 19

This is absolutely outrageous, if people want to become Australians and integrate and deal with our culture. Stop pampering to their so called special needs. I find this discriminatory against me. Lets get back to integrating not segregating. Please stop these special times and open up the pool to everyone.

rfc rfc 9:09 am 17 Oct 19

Our Australian way of life is slowly being eroded away. Another example of the lefty Labor/Greens govt catering to the minority.

Looking forward to the election next year.

Ben M Ben M 8:12 am 17 Oct 19

How ‘progressive’ – discrimination in the name of ‘inclusion’ and sharia law in the name of ‘diversity’. clown world

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 7:22 am 17 Oct 19

Not mad keen on this, but let’s keep things in perspective. They are only a small religion in Australia. We all know which Australian religion distorts democracy on a grand scale and actively promotes the persecution of minority groups.

Pandy Pandy 7:21 am 17 Oct 19

And if you are a trans, or identify as a gender not that you are born as, how is that catered for?

Grimm Grimm 6:15 pm 16 Oct 19

Well, this will be a great opportunity for a discrimination law suit….

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