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Women-only sauna sessions at Colchester Leisure World spark row
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.”