Waterworld defends decision to host a controversial nudist family swim event

Friday, 25th September 2020, 10:21 am
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 11:46 am
The event has attracted controversy in the past, with accusations of a lack of safeguarding (Photo: Shutterstock)
The event has attracted controversy in the past, with accusations of a lack of safeguarding (Photo: Shutterstock)

A leisure attraction has announced that they will be hosting a nude family swim event this weekend, despite some previous criticism.

The event at Waterworld in Stoke-on-Trent is organised by British Naturism, and is exactly what it sounds like: a family swim session without costumes, to be held on Saturday (September 26).

This isn't the first time the event has been held at the venue, and in the past the nude session has been criticised for a lack of safeguarding.

A paedophile hunter group, for instance, protested against the event in 2019, citing concerns about the session being open to adults and children of all ages.

What has British Naturism said?

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British Naturism, the organisers, have defended the event, saying that it will safeguard members in attendance both from coronavirus and from paedophiles.

A spokesperson said in a statement: "British Naturism is an organisation that has been in existence for over 50 years with many of our clubs being even older. We have a membership of 9,000 over 18s.

"We take our safeguarding and health and safety responsibility seriously and review our practices in advance of every event we run.

"We have a robust child and vulnerable adults safeguarding policy - it's actually rather ignorant of the complainers to assume that we don't.

"We also have a strict 'no cameras' rule with any photographs to record the event only being taken by our official photographer, who follow certain guidelines about what can be taken.

"Children at our events are always supervised by their parents and not allowed to attend unaccompanied - unlike schools, churches, scouts, play areas and other venues where parents opt to leave their children in the care of others.

"Naturist swims are being successfully - and safely - run all around the country throughout the year."

What has Waterworld said?

Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry sent a letter to local paper The Sentinel defending the organisation, saying British Naturism is a "perfectly law-abiding organisation".

He wrote: "We have been unjustly accused of encouraging paedophiles. Far Right protest group Britain First has been trying to whip up a frenzy by handing out inflammatory flyers.

"Some of our staff have even been subjected to unacceptable and unwarranted personal abuse. So it's time to set the record straight and get this situation into perspective.

"British Naturism is a perfectly law-abiding organisation which has been hiring our venue - and many similar sites across the UK - for private swimming events for more than 20 years.

"In all that time, the Waterworld sessions have passed off happily and peacefully, and we have never had any reasons for concern.

"It's important to point out that these events are completely private. They are not open to anyone to simply walk in off the street.

"They are restricted to the organisation's members and pre-registered guests, and no children attend without parents or guardians."

Tickets for the Waterworld events cost between £18 and £24 for adults with discounts on family tickets. The session runs from 7pm to 10pm.