Code of conduct

Why we have a Code of Conduct

Bristol Co-operative Gym (BCG) was set up to offer an alternative to mainstream gym culture by aiming to provide an inclusive, welcoming space, free from assumptions about identity and appearance, body shaming language, and ability.

We state these principles in our aims and objectives, and read out a statement – written by our members – at the start of every session:

Bristol Co-operative Gym aims to create a supportive, open exercise space where we can feel comfortable, in the clothes we like, with the music we like, to progress in our own way.

Our members enjoy training in a respectful environment that is free from body-shaming language, pick-up lines and judgements about who they are and what they can lift.

We hope that this all sounds good to you.

By coming to a session and training with us you agree to uphold our principles.

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide us all with a set of expectations and responsibilities to help us meet our aims and objectives.

We will be writing further policies and guidelines on specific points discussed here – this is the starting point. This document will be updated as these are created. 

What we expect of people

  • Remember that everyone comes with a different body, history, and perspective
  • Ask before giving advice – particularly around people’s bodies, diet and lifestyle choices 
  • Ask for permission before assisting anyone with an exercise or activity
  • Be conscious that using gendered language and talking about subjects such as diets,  body size and politics can make people feel uncomfortable 
  • Respect everyone’s own reasons for coming to the gym, which may be very different from your own 

Everyone is expected to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Coaches are responsible for ensuring attendees follow this Code of Conduct. 

Members are responsible for contributing to the ongoing maintenance of this document.

Directors are responsible for ensuring the coaches are following this Code of Conduct, funnelling feedback to the members for discussion where appropriate, and dealing with any complaints by following our grievance procedure.

How to report a problem

If another person’s behaviour or language makes you uncomfortable, please mention this to a coach or one of the directors as soon as possible, or you can fill out our anonymous feedback form on our website at any time.

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