Women-only swimming enjoys a wave of success

Article image - Women-only swimming enjoys a wave of success Boys under eight can attend with an adult otherwise its women only

Mildura Rural City Council, Victoria, has instituted a pilot women and girls-only swimming program at Mildura Waves which is proving a resounding success with up to 40 people attending each session.

At the half-way mark of the eight-week program, some participants reported that the initiative had made a massive impact on them, some of whom were encouraged to swim in a public pool for the first time in their lives.

Councillor for Recreation and Sport Glenn Milne said residents had told Council staff the women-only environment, including lifeguards and swimming centre staff, has made them feel safe and comfortable at the pool.

“A number of residents who’ve taken advantage of the program had never swam in a public pool before, while some of our older participants said it had been 10 to 30 years since they’d been in a pool.

“This shows there is a genuine need in the community for this program, with several women telling us that concerns about their body image and self-esteem had been obstacles to them taking to public swimming pools.

“By providing an environment where local girls and women can feel safe, confident and comfortable to swim and exercise, even if it’s for an hour each week, it’s helping to improve their mental health as well as enjoying the benefits of water exercise and being physically active.”

The women-only swimming program is provided by Council, Belgravia Leisure and the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council for one hour each Friday night, featuring women-only staff and lifeguards.

The initiative is in response to frequent feedback from women in region, who indicated one of the reasons they don’t swim is because they feel more comfortable in a women-only environment.