Woman calls for clarity over swimming rules after her experience at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre

Everyone Active has apologised for the incident

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 11:21 am
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 11:22 am

A woman has criticised Everyone Active for not being clearer with the rules around swimming after her experience at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre on Monday.

The lady, who does not wish to be named, took her 10-year-old son swimming on Monday morning after booking online the night before.

She paid for her swimming session and her son's session - who is a member at the leisure centre.

Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre (C) Google Maps

She says that once her and her son had got changed and went into the pool, she was then told it was over 16's only and he had to get out of the pool.

She said: "I am so angry and heart broken for my son, it was disgraceful treatment by the staff.

"My son is autistic and swimming is his favourite thing to do, he has struggled during lockdown and I knew that swimming would cheer him up.

"I told him this morning that we were going swimming and he was so excited, he was the happiest I have seen him in months.

"We were greeted at the door by staff, greeted at the swimming pool by staff and directed to the changing rooms.

"We got into the water and then one of the members of staff told my son he was not able to swim as it was over 16s only, I explained that he was able to swim lengths and that was what we were there for.

"He said he wasn't allowed and he had to get out, so we got out of the pool and I could see that my son was so upset.

"We went and got changed and then the man came back and said that if he could swim lanes then he could go back in the pool.

"By this point my son was changed and just wanted to leave, I think he was embarrassed.

"I said to the man that I told you when we were in the pool that he could swim lanes.

"I went to reception to complain and they said they would give me a refund, which I only got a partial refund and two free swims when more of the pool sessions can open.

"What annoyed me the most was that there was nothing on the website or app about over 16s only, they knew my son's age when I booked because he is a member.

"They also didn't tell us when we entered the leisure centre, or pool area, he is 10, you can see that he is under 16.

"They waited until he had gotten in the water to tell him to leave, it was just unfair and embarrassing for him."

Everyone Active has contacted her and apologised for the incident and offered a full refund.

Steve Cox, Everyone Active’s Area Contract Manager, said: “We have carried out a full investigation into the matter and we’re sorry to say that unfortunately the customer was misinformed regarding our lane swimming measures.

“We do not have any age restrictions in place for lane swimming sessions. Instead, we ask that all customers within a booking can confidently swim continuously in a lane.

“We have revisited the necessary training with all colleagues involved to ensure they are fully aware of our swimming measures.

"We have also contacted the customer directly to sincerely apologise for the incident and to offer her a full refund.

"We aim to provide the best service for our customers and we’re truly sorry for our error on this occasion.”