A new public pool in Auburn has installed privacy curtains so Muslim women can swim without being seen by other pool users.
The lightweight curtain runs around the glass walls of the 25-metre program pool where female-only swimming sessions are held for two hours each Sunday. Pool staff can draw the curtain to block the view into pool when the sessions are held, reports Courier Mail.
Belgravia Leisure, which operates the refurbished council-run facility, says the curtain was installed to overcome cultural barriers and encourage Muslim women to use the pool.
General manager, Richard McIntosh, said it was a move to make the pool accessible for all cultural groups.
“There was a lot of research done prior to construction and we identified that they were user groups that we wanted to accommodate,” he said.
“Traditionally that core population group that would use the pool with the blinds closed would have to come after hours or at the earliest or latest possible times.
“Having the blinds means they can use it in the middle of the day and still have full access.”
Auburn Council general manager Malcolm Ryan supports the move.
“There was a very high demand for female-only classes at the aquatic centre before redevelopment to cater for the differing modesty requirements,” he said.
“These classes were very popular but due to the centre only having one pool before redevelopment, the high demand wasn’t being met.
“With the installation of curtains at the program pool, the Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre is inclusive to the whole community at all times and can cater to any requirement, without it impacting on the rest of the centre.”
Great move! Should more public pools do something similar?
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