I am a regular user of the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre (off Lerwick) and have an issue to raise with the present policy of allowing young girls of the opposite sex to change in the men’s change room.
In January of this year, I exited the men’s shower, naked, and headed for my locker, only to find a father and two young girls, around age five years of age, standing there, equally as naked as I. For whatever reason, the father had chosen to bring them into the men’s change-room to change, and to then proceed through the men’s shower area (with a number of men showering) into the pool. This was the first incident of four that I have come across this year. Most other men that I have spoken to are uncomfortable. Women have also faced mothers with boys as old as seven in the women’s change-room, and often feel uncomfortable as well.
So, early this year, I contacted and communicated with Darcy Walters, the Regional District director of recreation, initially asking him what the policy was. He said children up to age seven were allowed with parents into the change room of the opposite sex. I have tried to let him know that many of the men using the pool do not feel comfortable with this policy, and we do have a large family change room, built exactly for the purpose.
Mr. Walters assured me that he would be working on a policy revision and asked me to be patient. I kept in contact with Mr. Walters on this matter.
This Sunday, I was again faced by a father and his daughter changing only a few feet from me. I politely asked the father why he did not use the family change room, and he said that he did not think anyone would care. I assured him that some men do. I would not parade around naked in front of my five-year-old granddaughter, and I did not want to do the same in front of someone else’s granddaughter.
So, this past Sunday, I wrote Mr. Walters again, only to be disappointed to find that he is retiring this month and passing the matter onto his successor.
I would encourage the general public to ‘wade’ into this matter and express their opinion if they so wish.