Devil’s Advocate: The Price of fitness



By: Emma Hinds

While it is tempting to call the change in membership fees a ‘rise’ in prices, it highlights what we lose as students rather than recognising what we gain. 

As a member of the Dance Society, I have been frustrated that I have had to pay full membership fees when I knew I would only use a fraction of the facilities. I love to dance but I hate the gym. Like-minded students have been put off joining societies or fully committing because they have felt that it would be a waste of money to pay the full sports centre membership. 

The Student Club Access Membership fully addresses the imbalance in price. The £35 annual fee now no longer includes any other facilities but those utilised by the AU and student societies, so those members who are committed to their clubs but not the gym finally pay for what they want.The second membership option, the Student Fitness+ membership, also offers more than before. 

The option now includes free access to most sports centre facilities, including Energise classes and recreational Sport sessions alongside what is offered by the AU and Student Clubs. 

One of the greatest hurdles facing those who want to get fit is boredom. Running every day can be dull and doing the same gym workout can get tiresome. This membership is perfect for those who feel that when December comes, they won’t be able to muster the energy to go to the gym and do the same old thing. 

Now there is the option of aerobics, muscle conditioning, cardio workout, yoga, and many more in the Energise programme. These classes are social, fun, and tailored for different skill levels so beginners do not have to feel intimidated as they start out. 

These alterations introduce variety into student membership, which is badly needed in a society where fitness levels have dropped horribly low. Even if the price of these new changes isn’t quite right, the concept behind them is. 

The attempt to give every student the chance to keep fit in a way that suits them personally should be applauded.


By: Nathan Ruby

I’m not going to be irrational about this; the new fees for the Sports Centre are excellent, if you are a hardcore bodybuilder. The work out room has been upgraded, they are installing nice new machines, and if you work out three times a week for twenty-three weeks you will save a whopping four pounds with the new Fitness+ Program. 

But most students are not body builders. As a non-member three pounds for a gym sesh seems a bit silly, and, with our lack of class facilities, it is a waste. By comparison, The University of Stirling only charges £75.90 for a full years membership. And, it includes state of the art facilities with plenty of space, and a swimming pool. 

Perhaps we are expected to utilize the North Sea for our swimming recreation? That will either run you another hundred on a decent wetsuit or a few thousand for a lavish funeral. We should have our own swimming pool, nice facilities, and a gymnasium with more than one court! 

Space is not a problem. While I appreciate all of our grass fields, they’re never filled up. So, the problem must be a fiscal one. Often the University cites money as a reason for not fixing our 1970’s era facilities (think this summer’s library fiasco), but this money does not need to come from overcharged sports centre fees: we already have it.

 Even at the height of the recession the University was making a surplus well within “the millions”. This money should be constantly put towards upgrading our facilities, instead of the bulk chunks every thirty years that can only be accumulated by sapping students of the little money most have. 

These fees are eventually going to pay for improvements that you and I will never use, and if we aren’t going to be thrown even a small bone for our monetary sacrifice in the meantime, no one should have to pay more on the fault of an incompetent financial staff. 

Especially when they are more interested in purchasing derelict paper mills than catering to the students’ interests.


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