Women-only sauna sessions at Colchester Leisure World spark row

Essex County Standard: Jake Wall: “Some people are not too happy’’ Jake Wall: “Some people are not too happy’’

MEN at Colchester’s Leisure World have called for an end to women-only sauna and spa sessions.

A petition pinned to the wall of male changing rooms calls on Colchester Council to axe two female-only sessions on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings at Aqua Springs.

The spa facilities include a central pool, steam room, saunas, ice cold-pool and a new salt inhalation room.

Gary Reeve, 26, of High Woods, attends the Leisure World gym three or four times a week and said he often used the saunas.

He said: “It’s a bit sexist. Women want equality, so I don’t see why they should get special treatment.”

Jake Wall, 18, a trainee electrician at Colchester Institute, said about 50 men had signed the petition.

He said: “I pay for my membership and that’s two sessions I can’t go when I want to.

“I like to go on a Thursday night because I go to the gym after college. By the time I get out of the gym, it’s women’s night. A few people have had a chat about it. Some aren’t too fussed but some are not happy.”

Darius Laws, of Belle Vue Road, has also written to Colchester Council to complain about the policy.

He said: “I appreciate there will be some women who, through their religion and cultures, do not wish to mix with semi-naked men.

“However, it is clear to see with Aqua Springs the women- only opening hours are disproportionate to need and arguably, in these tough economic times, commercially nonsensical.”

Tina Dopson, councillor responsible for diversity, said: “Customer feedback is incredibly important to us and we are committed to providing a quality and enjoyable service.

“We are reviewing services, including the sessions in Aqua Springs.

“This feedback will be very valuable in ensuring the timetables on offer meet the requirements of customers, as much as possible.”

Comments (6)

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7:52pm Wed 25 May 11

cavillas says...

It's time all these same sex sessions were banned for good, it is discriminatory and sexist. All these people pay the same rates so they should have the same access at all times.
It's time all these same sex sessions were banned for good, it is discriminatory and sexist. All these people pay the same rates so they should have the same access at all times. cavillas
  • Score: 0

9:00am Thu 26 May 11

greenbroker says...

Paddler27 is the one who should get a life. Some individuals make time for leisure and enjoy the facilities.
Paddler27 is the one who should get a life. Some individuals make time for leisure and enjoy the facilities. greenbroker
  • Score: 0

11:25am Thu 26 May 11

5665 says...

It has been going on for years and started back in the days of the early 80's when the old centre was thriving and in situe...The idea originally came via the old Sauna suite in the 1970's building because the facility was small, it was justified in having those particular sessions etc....Now the centre is quite large there is no longer the need, excuse or requirement and the complainers are correct in the protestations...The remark regarding the males above is unfair and slightly incorrect in its facts...I know I used to work there...Men should be allowed to have recreation at their disposal at any, all and every time, within the constraints of the services available...Far too many of us males are still dying much earlier than woman, after years of slogging our balls off, while our partners are preening themselves in these facilities...If it is a case that ladies want to go to these sessions because of their partners who have a touch of the green eye...Then the suggestion is that couples should find time to go together...(It is good for the marriage to do things together and find the time!) Ladies only should be reduced to one day per week as was when it started out...And the prices there should be reduced for us all £15 for two is extortionate especially when we paid for the centre in the first in place in taxes....We do not want to bring the history of the facility (S and P Leisure) It is not the fault of the local tax payers that the place cant make money without subsidies, hence the silly and disenfranchising special sessions....
It has been going on for years and started back in the days of the early 80's when the old centre was thriving and in situe...The idea originally came via the old Sauna suite in the 1970's building because the facility was small, it was justified in having those particular sessions etc....Now the centre is quite large there is no longer the need, excuse or requirement and the complainers are correct in the protestations...The remark regarding the males above is unfair and slightly incorrect in its facts...I know I used to work there...Men should be allowed to have recreation at their disposal at any, all and every time, within the constraints of the services available...Far too many of us males are still dying much earlier than woman, after years of slogging our balls off, while our partners are preening themselves in these facilities...If it is a case that ladies want to go to these sessions because of their partners who have a touch of the green eye...Then the suggestion is that couples should find time to go together...(It is good for the marriage to do things together and find the time!) Ladies only should be reduced to one day per week as was when it started out...And the prices there should be reduced for us all £15 for two is extortionate especially when we paid for the centre in the first in place in taxes....We do not want to bring the history of the facility (S and P Leisure) It is not the fault of the local tax payers that the place cant make money without subsidies, hence the silly and disenfranchising special sessions.... 5665
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Thu 26 May 11

tharr182 says...

@paddler27 - how can you abuse a male only privilege at a gym?
@paddler27 - how can you abuse a male only privilege at a gym? tharr182
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Thu 26 May 11

Rach86 says...

lol, you dont see us women starting petition on gentlemen clubs because it "sexist".
lol, you dont see us women starting petition on gentlemen clubs because it "sexist". Rach86
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Thu 26 May 11

John the resonator says...

Rach86 wrote:
lol, you dont see us women starting petition on gentlemen clubs because it "sexist".
Can't say I would ever attend a 'gentleman's club,' the idea leaves me cold but I think the point here is that this is a public facility, paid for through taxation and as such should promote equal access for all.
[quote][p][bold]Rach86[/bold] wrote: lol, you dont see us women starting petition on gentlemen clubs because it "sexist".[/p][/quote]Can't say I would ever attend a 'gentleman's club,' the idea leaves me cold but I think the point here is that this is a public facility, paid for through taxation and as such should promote equal access for all. John the resonator
  • Score: 0

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