More women only swimming sessions needed

For a long time our group has discussed the need for more swimming provision at Moseley Road Baths in order to meet demand.  My own experience of working at the pool was that many people were frustrated that so many sessions were shared use (lane swimming and kids’ Strokes lessons, or public swims during school sessions).  It’s clear that both pools need to be opened in order to meet demand.

One group of users in particular regularly find themselves queuing to use the pool.  Many women across the city come to Moseley Road Baths for the Women Only swimming sessions.  The reasons for attending these sessions are as varied as the women who attend – modesty, cultural reasons, self-consciousness, a space to socialise with other women – to name but a few reasons.  It is apparent that these sessions are needed, and for many women and girls, it can mean the difference between regularly swimming or not doing any exercise at all.  As such, these sessions need to be encouraged throughout the city.

Moseley Road Baths are popular as the pool doors can be closed to the general public, and the cubicles around the side of the pool make the walk from changing to swimming so short.  However, the current timetable cannot meet the demand and many sessions are too busy.  The sessions are also held in the evening, excluding many women and girls who would prefer to use the pool earlier in the day – particularly important for women with children.  Some swimmers also prefer female lifeguards, which cannot always be guaranteed.

In response to this a Facebook Group has been set up, requesting more Women Only swim sessions throughout Birmingham to meet demand.  If you use Facebook then get involved in the discussion here. We would also invite people who feel passionately about the need for more Women Only swim sessions to add a comment on this blogpost, or e-mail us with your comments.  This all helps the Friends of Moseley Road Baths to make the case for two fully functioning community pools!

One thought on “More women only swimming sessions needed”

  1. Thank you Rachel for highlighting this and bringing it to people’s attention. You certainly have hit the nail on the head regarding the problem of lack of female only provision in the city. Not all pools even offer such a session, and some that do are open to public view by the fact that they have sheet glass windows looking out onto car parks (Newtown) or separating the pool from the rest of the leisure centre (King’s Heath). Northfield offers only one session and this is 8.30 pm – not really useful for those of us who have families to tend to and who don’t live on the doorstep. It’s also pretty difficult to muster up enthusiasm to go to a pool that late after a long hard day.
    The fact that Moseley is capable of extending their swimming facilities makes it harder to understand why so many of us are unable to get a decent swim regularly. As Rachel has pointed out, for some of us, it’s the only exercise we can get – healthwise we may be unable to do other types of fitness. For modesty, Moseley baths is very reassuring, being totally closed off to the general public. With the addition of the other pool, the scope would be fantastic, not just for the residents and schools in Moseley but for the rest of us who aren’t lucky enough to have pools in our areas. Speaking for the muslim female population, we are a growing number in Birmingham, and the need for women only sessions is only too obvious when you see the queues. Even when Sparkhill baths were open, there were more women than places, many often being turned away at each session, so the loss of Sparkhill has simply magnified the problem. Hopefully, with your support we’ll be able to persuade the powers that be to accommodate our needs.

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