Our Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation will begin hosting women-only swimming sessions at the three local pools, Meadowbrook, Medgar Evers and Southwest pools in March of 2013. The program will also be extended to Rainier Beach Pool in the Fall 2013.
Controversial? For some. But for many women and girls who are Muslims, Orthodox Jews and other faiths, this is the first opportunity they’ve had to learn how to swim. I think this is a terrific idea and have encouraged Parks to expand their Women of the World program. It’s not unique to Seattle; other jurisdictions are doing this too.
Many women do not exercise or swim in co-ed environments, so the male lifeguards and staff will be excused during these swim hours, windows will be covered, and only women lifeguards will be on duty.
This is a an effort to increase access to exercise for more people in our city, and women-only swim hours are another way to make exercise easier for our expanding population. These programs are designed to increase the number of people who learn to swim in our public pools, and encourage women to try something new to promote their own health.
Women-only swims join a list of programs geared toward specific groups that include Family Swim, Adult Swim, Senior Swim, Masters Workouts and more.
All women are welcome to swim during these hours. Participants will pay the same fees that everyone else does to swim.