FOR the past 25 years, two leisure centres have offered women-only swimming sessions with the aim of removing barriers to participation.
Now, and after conducting a survey and listening to feedback from the community, Horizon Leisure Centres will offer men-only swimming sessions, for the males who equally experience confidence issues.
A six-month trial at both centres in Havant and Waterlooville will start at the end of May.
Howard Broad, chief executive of the company, said: ‘Horizon is keen to support men only swimming as the sessions have the potential to increase male participation in swimming and physical activity generally, and to help address body consciousness issues.
‘These sessions will help to remove barriers to exercise and provide equality in the activities programme and help us to continue “making lives better” for our customers and the wider community.’
Both leisure centres are dedicated to providing a wide range of sporting and leisure facilities and activities for everyone by removing barriers to participation where they may exist.
Paul Gorczynski, senior lecturer in the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Sport and Exercise Science, said: ‘Today, boys are more physically active than girls and men are more active than women.
‘It’s important to explore different strategies to overcome barriers to physical activity, but any men-only programming should not negatively impact women’s access to physical activity.
‘Gender-specific programming can also raise questions about inclusion.
‘It is critical that gender-specific programming involves a strategy for trans inclusion, and that it tackles issues around homophobia, for example.’
The trials will begin on May 31.
The sessions will run from 8-9pm on a Thursday at Waterlooville, and on a Friday at Havant, for a promotional price of £3 per session.
Horizon is welcoming thoughts on the men-only swim session trials, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback.