Abolish gym membership charges to join sports societies
Anonymous submitted on
Wednesday 24th April 2019
There really is no need for this charge. £110 is too expensive!!!
Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.
Students' Union replied on
Wednesday 29th May 2019 4:57pm
Thank you for your submission.
The Sport and Wellbeing membership fee is not ideal from a perspective of making sport financially accessible to students and we would love to do away with it if possible, however it is unfortunately necessary to continue running our sports clubs as they currently exist. Sport and Wellbeing's budget limitations require them to break even, meaning that all of the costs of facility maintenance, staffing, equipment replacement, refurbishment etc have to be raised from their membership fees. Sport and Wellbeing provide a service to SUSU affiliated sports clubs in the premium spaces that they occupy to do their activity for free, but they ask in return that all members of these clubs have valid Sport and Wellbeing memberships to use the space. It is entirely possible to remove the necessity of club members having Sport and Wellbeing membership, however the income from this would have to be found somewhere else and the cost of using these spaces would come from sports clubs instead, raising their membership fees to something comparative to the cost of Sport and Wellbeing membership + club membership.
The only permanent solution to this issue is to remove the need for Sport and Wellbeing to break even, and convince the University executive to treat sport as an investment rather than an extra that has to pay for itself. Clearly, this is a long term aim that will need including in the University's strategy moving forward. SUSU and Sport and Wellbeing have spent the last 2 years drafting a strategy paper that has been presented to the University asking for a reorganisation of how we do sport, a doubling of the current investment in sport (via SUSU's block grant), and a big capital investment in our ageing sport facilities. I have also been sat on University Council arguing the benefits of sports all year, so hopefully in the near future there will be a more positive shift in attitudes in making sport more accessible.
This is all not forgetting the £300,000 that SUSU spends on sports annually between grants for clubs, staff and admin support, and events and projects. £200,000 of this money goes directly to sports clubs in grants used to subsidise the cost of running, helping to bring down the cost of club membership for students. Additionally, 42 of our 88 sports clubs don't require Sport and Wellbeing membership to take part since they don't use Sport and Wellbeing facilities. I'd recommend looking into our list of sports clubs at susu.org/sports/ to see everything on offer.
Steve Gore, VP Sports and Acting President.
Forwarded to Sports Development
Friday 3rd May 2019 1:08pm
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