Men-only sessions in Luton pool a '˜cultural thing'

Inspire Sports VillageInspire Sports Village
Inspire Sports Village
Luton's olympic swimming pool has began hosting gender-segregated swimming sessions because of 'cultural' reasons, it has been alleged.

Users of the competitive pool at Inspire Sports Village in Stopsley – built with taxpayer-funded Olympic money – were given sudden notice that there would be men-only sessions on Friday evenings from July 29.

Women-only sessions will also take place on a Friday evening, but in the smaller community pool.

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One outraged female swimmer told Luton News: “The Friday night session for everyone is now closed because of the listed men-only sessions.

“I have asked a team leader about it – as there are no managers at the weekend – and he said it was a ‘cultural thing’.”

Women who do not want to use the community pool are reportedly told to use Lea Manor or Lewsey Pools.

The woman added: “Why has one section of the community in Luton been allowed to dominate and take over the best pool in the borough?

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“Why can’t they instead have booked Lea Manor or Lewsey pools?

“I like swimming in the competition pool after a hard week at work on Fridays and now I can’t without any discussion and very little advanced notice.”

An Active Luton spokesman defended the move and explained that on Friday evenings, Inspire offered gender-specific swimming sessions – albeit men had access to the larger competitive pool.

He went on: “We regularly provide opportunities for different groups in our programme, including many different activities and swimming sessions.

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“Active Luton aims to provide everyone in our community, regardless of age, ability or ethnicity, with affordable and accessible opportunities to get active in ways which suit their wide-ranging needs and lifestyles.”

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