Tips for organising clothes-optional swims
By Greg DePaco, NIFTY secretary
If the NIFTY swims are too infrequent for you – or if you live too far away from Templeton Pool to participate as often as you’d like – you may have thought about starting a clothing-optional swim of your own at a local pool. We here at NIFTY strongly encourage you to do so, and would like to help if we can! Here are some suggestions if you take the plunge:
1. Contact the pool and make an appointment with the programmer to discuss rentals. (This is their title in Vancouver Park Board sites, it may be different in your area.) Arrange an in-person appointment. There’s no need to mention at this point that you intend to have a clothing-optional event, but if they ask you if this is the case you should certainly (of course) say so, just as you would answer any initial questions they might have about your rental.
2. You will likely have to buy insurance. In BC, you should contact Sport BC insurance to discuss rates and terms. This would be a good thing to have looked into before your meeting with the pool programmer. If you know another group that rents the same pool, they might be willing to share their policy with you. Talk to them and to Sport BC.
3. It’s best to bring two people to your meeting with the pool programmer, a male and a female. (Sex shouldn’t matter, of course, but given societal stereotypes about people who like to do things naked, it helps to present your group as one whose membership represents a wider cross-section of your community.) Sorry (but needless) to say, you should really wear clothes for the meeting.
4. Use your judgment as the meeting unfolds, but you should probably explain your intention to have clothing-optional events early on during the meeting, as one of the parameters of your rentals. Most programmers will probably be at least willing to consider the idea, though they may say they have to check with their superiors first. At this point, be sure to mention all the other groups (like NIFTY) that have sucessfully run clothing-optional swims and events for years without any significant problems and with wide community support. Offer to meet with their superiors yourselves if needed.
5. If the meeting ends without a firm yes or no, give them a week or so to get back to you before calling to follow up. If you do so, start the call by thanking them for having met with you to consider renting their facility to your group. (Also do this when they call with their answer, if they do.)
If you need any help with the process, just call us here at NIFTY – we’ll do what we can. Good Luck! And let us know about the responses you get.