Plug pulled on women-only swim trial

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 13:38 10/06/2014

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The plug has been pulled on segregated swimming at Hamilton public pools, despite a positive response from women advocates.

A women-only swimming programme was tipped to be launched at the Gallagher Aquatic Centre this month after Hamilton City Council piloted the scheme last year.

However council swimming and recreation manager Mathew Bayliss this week said there were no plans to go ahead with women-only sessions ''at this stage''.

''There are other priorities for our swimming facilities at present, particularly with a range of important maintenance work to be carried out [at] Gallagher Aquatic Centre in July,'' Bayliss said.

The centre will close on July 4 and reopen on July 21.

Bayliss said the sessions were only a proposal that was being explored by the council's swimming facilities management team.

The Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand was one group to praise the idea, saying there would be a demand for a women-only swimming programme in Hamilton, especially among young Muslim women.

Other groups, such as Hamilton Residents and Ratepayers Association, slammed the proposal as ''political correctness going too far'' and asked if men-only swimming sessions would be offered.

Bayliss said staff were open to discussions with any groups of men whe believed a session dedicated to them would be of value.'

'We received no formal approaches of this kind, so it has not been pursued.''

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- Waikato Times

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