Central Coast Surf Life Saving ClubL No nudity policy at NSW surf club causes controversy
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Central Coast Surf Life Saving Club says visitors must now shower in their swimming costumes and change with a towel around them.
The club said if anyone was caught breaching the rule they “will be called before the club’s disciplinary committee”.
One member said she’s been forced to leave the club after using the change room and breaching the policy.
Local Nada Pantle enjoys her morning dip at Terrigal Beach. She said it’s part of her routine, along with a post-swim shower at the surf club’s change rooms.
“I then received a letter, saying I have breached the nudity policy, I don’t know what I did, it doesn’t explain it in the letter,” Pantle told 9News.
Should changing rooms have a no nudity policy?
The letter stated: “The Terrigal Surf Club has received a report advising that you have breached the no nudity clause that can be found in the Child Safe Policy … and should you continue to ignore the procedures/rules, you will be subject to disciplinary action, and/or including termination of your membership.”
Pantle immediately took action of her own.
“I was so anxious I handed my resignation in … that’s what the change rooms are for, they’re for getting changed,” she said.
Surf Life Saving Central Coast said it’s all come about to reinforce child safety under a nationwide policy.
“Here at Terrigal there’s been numerous times that things have been raised from young people saying they’re uncomfortable around nudity in the change rooms,” Surf Life Saving Central Coast CEO Jon Harkness said.
Those concerns prompted signs to be put up in the club’s change rooms.
Fellow club member Wendy Farley said she feels body shamed.
“I think it’s appalling, I think it’s a backwards step and I think it’s bad for young women,” Farley said.
The Surf Life Saving branch is encouraging all 15 Central Coast clubs to roll out the no nudity signage in their change rooms.
Locals have mixed reviews on the policy.
“I think it’s PC gone crazy,” one woman said.
“It’s a fair policy, my word it is, couldn’t agree more,” a man said.
Another man said: “I think it’s overkill, as long as the sexes are separated.”
Pantle and Farley said they hope the club can come up with another solution.
“I know that some surf clubs have a separate section for nippers, and they’re larger change rooms. If our club can come up with a solution like that, I’m all for it,” Farley said.
Surf Life Saving Central Coast said the club has plans to renovate and expand, subject to development approval.