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Pool requests nude shower ban

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: January 23, 2010

Torridge Pool in Northam, North Devon

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GYM users at a popular pool have been asked to shower in their trunks and costumes when children are around.

After using the equipment at the Torridge Pool in Northam, North Devon, members have been "respectfully" asked to wear swimsuits in the showers, if pupils are present.

The pool said it acted after "concerns were raised" by schools, and made the request to protect children and adults.

However, grandfather-of-four Hugh Bone, who uses the centre, argued the scheme appeared to prejudge people.

Mr Bone said: "This surely is ridiculous. Boys and men, as well as girls and women, have always changed in front of each other and this is part of the growing up experience. People should not believe that we are all perverts."

Some 13 primary and junior schools use the pool and have been in consultation with the pool as part of the Bideford Learning Community.

While schools swim at agreed times, members of the public could still be using the changing rooms alongside the pupils after a session.

General manager Bob Demott said there had never been any untoward incidents and stressed the measure was a safeguard for children and adults.

He said: "The measures we have put in place are pro-active. The schools felt uncomfortable that there were naked people in the showers when children were in the changing rooms."

Times have been buffered so that pool users' shower times do not clash with those of pupils.

However, gym users have been asked to cover up under the showers when youngsters are in view, Mr Demott said.

He said: "Some people do feel uncomfortable taking their clothes off when children are around.

"We have asked a minority of gym goers who are around at the same time that if they do change at that time, then they do not shower naked."

There are a number of private showers that can be used if people do feel strongly about being nude under the shower, he said.

He said: "People have different views. Some say they get undressed in front of their grandchildren, others think differently.

"We are trying to be reasonable about this. We wrote to all the gym members and very few came back and complained. The last thing we want to do is stop children swimming."

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  • BN_PRO  |  October 10 2012, 12:47AM

    I know the article particularly refers to gym users, but presumably the ban on naked showers extends to showers taken before swimming? If so, haven't the pool managers kept up with current recommendations for the control of cryptosporidia? I say current, but the recommendations published by the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group have been around since 2008, so they really should have caught up by now. The recommendation is that everyone should shower naked as the only effective way of controlling this infection that as they put it: "presents a particular challenge, compared with bacteria and viruses because its resistant form is not killed by the chlorine levels used in pools." http://tinyurl.com/9gxl5jf As for nudity in front of children, why ban something for which there is absolutely no evidence of harm? Every piece of academic research into this subject ever published has always concluded either no harm or in many cases actual benefit to the children. It is only prejudice that says otherwise and prejudice can be harmful when it directs us into making the wrong decision. http://tinyurl.com/94xhbft As others have said already, other countries in Europe have much more liberal attitudes and have lower rates of sexual crime to which I will add lower rates of teenage pregnancy and eating disorders. Such prudery is child abuse with good intentions. http://tinyurl.com/97xzax9 http://tinyurl.com/8xwar69

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    William, Salem, Mass  |  March 16 2010, 7:53PM

    This reminds me of the little girl who was suspended from school for bringing a butter knife to cut her lunch steak with. Much ado about nothing.

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    Jack R, Ukraine  |  March 16 2010, 7:46PM

    I grew up entirely comfortable changing in front of the same gendered people - it's also the way I'm raising my children. To make children fearful about something that produces no danger or damage to them is inhumane. There are enough legitimate things for them to be afraid of as it stands. There is no more greater of possibility of harm to children resulting from changing with the same sex than if they cover up. In Scandanavian countries, there are no qualms about people being naked in the showers in locker rooms and going into the sauna in their birthday suits. I know of no other place on the earth where crimes against children are more uncommon.

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    Jane, York  |  January 25 2010, 12:39PM

    Why not put a privacy screen in front of the showers?

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    bill, truro  |  January 25 2010, 8:47AM

    i frequent munich to see my family . all sports centers there are mixed naked ,aslthouth they do have sesions for men only and woman only .get a life

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    2201 East, Phoenix AZ  |  January 24 2010, 10:00PM

    It says more to me about where the children's guardians are at the time and what type of job they are doing.

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    Sherlock's bones, Under the Water Tower  |  January 24 2010, 8:26AM

    "Will the body-phobic few ever stop trying to impose their distorted views on everyone else?". Was that from another of the ones that Sarah is concerned about?. . Not a very good advert for the YMCA.

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    Rich Pasco, Florida  |  January 23 2010, 11:17PM

    I meant to write, as a child I swam nude in the YMCA.

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    Rich Pasco, Florida  |  January 23 2010, 11:15PM

    Like Stephen, I cannot see the problem. As a child I swam in the YMCA with other boys and men. We learned that the human body was God's divine creation, nothing to be ashamed (or afraid) of. So today, these are same-gender shower rooms? Will the body-phobic few ever stop trying to impose their distorted views on everyone else?

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    Stephen, California  |  January 23 2010, 11:04AM

    Thank you for the article. I'm just a guest here. But it seems to me that when people are truly concerned about the welfare of children, we'll enact rules to prevent adults from smoking in front of them. Everyone has a body ~ I'm sure the kids will eventually discover what the human body looks like. But to expose the kids to smoking, as if this is what to do to look grown up ~ that is one thing we could control if we were genuinely concerned.

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