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Vancouver park board looks to create ‘appropriate’ swimwear policy for pools

Report says it’s defined as what’s acceptable in a family, public setting and ‘appropriate coverage of genitals’
The Vancouver park board is looking create a policy around “appropriate” swimwear in public pool facilities. (Black Press Media)

The Vancouver park board is looking create a policy around “appropriate” swimwear in public pool facilities.

The staff report is set to be discussed at Monday’s (April 24) meeting to set a “minimum expectations for appropriate and acceptable attire for swimming in Vancouver’s public swimming facilities and to provide staff with a tool in carrying out their functions.”

The report notes that pool staff have raised concerns that they wished to have a policy to help them in managing situations where patrons have gone to Vancouver pool facilities and worn attire that has had cause for attention, due to various levels of tolerance by both staff and members of the public.” It adds that sometimes the attire was deemed to present a risk in their ability to stay safe in the water.

“Appropriate swimwear for swimming is defined as what other Canadians find as an acceptable level of tolerance in a family public swimming environment that includes maintaining full and appropriate coverage of genitals.”

The report says appropriate swimwear “allows the body to move freely,” and includes bathing suits; swim trunks or board shorts; t-shirts or shorts; burkini, swim hijab leggings and tunic; rash guard; and a wet suit.

Meantime, swimwear “considered unacceptable” includes items designed for sexual/intimate purposes; clothing that absorbs water and becomes heavy such as jeans or sweatpants; and attire with long, flowing fabric that could limit movement or cause a safety risk.

The report adds that in order to maintain water quality, all swimmers are “required to have control of their bladder and/or bowels,” but those without “sufficient control” can use disposable or reusable swim diapers/pants.

The proposed policy was developed with an access and inclusion unit and the City of Vancouver’s legal department.

Vancouver has nine indoor pools and five outdoor pools.


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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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