The Affordability of UoN Sport and Fitness: A Response

In light of the 249th edition of Impact Magazine's survey on how affordable the UoN gym membership is, Impact Features gives an alternative response, questioning whether the costs are reasonable for every type of student.

When we come to University, we pay a hefty price. For a considerable number of us, that £9000-9250 a year burns a gaping hole in our pockets. So, it makes sense that an extra £199 on top just to join a sports team or go to some fitness classes might just be a bit of a push.

According to a recent survey by Impact Magazine however, the price of £199 a year for sport and fitness membership at the University of Nottingham is deemed quite reasonable[1]. It includes access to all there is to offer at the centre, including over 100 weekly group exercise classes, outdoor court hire, and discounted rates at the sports injury clinic. The state of the art facilities are second to none, which, according to the survey, more than justifies the price.

“No matter how sophisticated the facilities, the price is not reasonable”

As a member of the gym myself, I have to agree that the facilities at David Ross Sports Village are amazing. Home to four large sports halls, 20 badminton courts, a 12-metre climbing wall, a 200-station fitness suite[2] and much, much more, the sheer scope of the centre is the impressive result of a £40 million investment. But no matter how sophisticated the facilities, the price is not reasonable.

Coming to university is a major investment, for some significantly more than others. For the former, if you play competitively it must be quite a blow to be denied access to the sport of your choice because you can’t pay the membership. If you want to join a sports team at university, both a membership and a payment to join the team itself are required, and if you are unfortunate enough to harbour an interest in rowing, the cost is enough to make the eyes water.

“Should we really be being charged extortionate prices to exercise, when we already have food, books, rent and various other things to consider?”

As students, we are the immediate future: the ones who will continue to make the world a better place despite the current problems we are facing. Should we really be being charged extortionate prices to exercise, when we already have food, books, rent and various other things to consider?

There are other options, of course. Engage sports are open to all students at the University of Nottingham, regardless of ability and level of commitment. Sessions are just £3 if you don’t have a sports membership, an alternative solution that is much kinder to the bank balance.

Other alternatives to keeping fit include jogging around campus, or joining sports centres in Beeston, Lenton and Dunkirk. If you want to play in league or varsity, or any other competitive team however, you could face having to cough up a few hundred pounds.

The sports facilities at the University of Nottingham are one of the highlights of attending the institution. It would be entirely unrealistic to expect membership to be free, as there are maintenance costs and funding to think about. However, even a marginal decrease in price wouldn’t hurt. Students should be being encouraged to get more active, rather than deterred by the hefty sum placed on a sports membership.

Basil Hallward

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[1] Impact Magazine Issue 249 page 56-57

[2] https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/membership/studentsportsmembership.aspx


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