NATURISTS made a splash at a Warwickshire leisure centre when they met for an international swimming gala.
Some 250 naturists from all over Europe descended on Ken Marriott Leisure Centre in Rugby for the gala on Saturday.
The centre in Bruce Williams Way was closed to the public for the day.
The International Naturist Federation event was attended by people of all ages, including naturists as young as 10 years old as well as the over 60s.
Team GB’s competitors were selected from swimmers at a national gala held earlier this year and competed against seven other teams from France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.
Races were be judged by officials from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and winners were presented with medals and trophies at an awards dinner after the event.
Many of the competitors stayed at the Britannia Hotel in Coventry.
In addition to swimming naked, naturists wandered around the complex nude and enjoyed lunch in the gym with fellow naturists.
Andrew Welch, British Naturism commercial manager, said: “You’d have been the odd one out if you came in fully clothed.”
The 40-year-old, of London, has been practising naturism for 20 years and seeks to dispel some of the myths surrounding the lifestyle choice.
He said: “There’s a lot more people out there who like the idea of being naked.
“It gives you a sense of liberation, there’s no wet swimming costumes clinging to you.
“I think there are two extreme misconceptions, one of them being that all naturists are mad because we don’t conform to society’s notion of being clothed so people only get naked when they bath or shower.
“We say it’s totally natural to be naked and although we know it’s not for everyone, some people have been converted or at least understand why we do it.
“The other misconception is that there is a sexual side to it all, when in fact there’s more sex going on in pubs and clubs than you would ever find here. We see the human body how it really is, in all its shapes and forms.
“There’s nothing sexual about it, you forget everyone’s naked after a few minutes.”
It was not the first time the Federation had used the centre for an event, but it was the largest naturists gathering the leisure centre has ever held.Lisa Fletcher, Ken Marriott Leisure Centre operations manager, said the naturists were welcome to use the facilities
She said: “For many years, British Naturism has been using our centre and we are extremely happy that we were approached to hold such a prestigious event.
“Having an international gala is a privilege for the centre and we hope that everyone enjoyed the day.” http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/r ... -25124266/Foto