Why Regent Park’s aquatic facility is a hit with women

Many new immigrants coming from countries where swimming isn’t an option and modest dressing is the norm tend to avoid swimming in Canada. But given that this country has more lakes than the rest of the world combined makes swimming a life skill.

Immigrant women in particular end up not learning to swimming because that would require them to be in a bathing suit in the presence of men. A taboo especially among Muslims. So when Regent Park Aquatic Centre (RPAC) launched a woman-only swim time on Saturday mornings, it quickly became the most busy time at the pool. Every Saturday morning, dozens of women can be seen making their way to the pool. Opaque screens cover the giant glass walls giving them the much sought after privacy they need. This aquatic centre is among one of the best facilities in the country and many of the women here are learning to swim and bringing their daughters with them as well.

In many parts of Canada, demographic changes are forcing cities to consider swimming times for women only complete with privacy screens. This sort of trend does cause consternation among many who believe such a level of segregation at public facilities is a step in the wrong direction. On the other hand, by not creating such timings and space for women-only swimming at aquatic centres is denying thousands of women the opportunity to swim and learn a very important life skill. – CINEWS

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