University gym memberships are an expensive joke

At £256 per year (including the sports membership fee of £40 that claims to ‘save’ students money), York has one of the highest, and in my opinion ridiculously overpriced, university gym memberships available

Fireworks, champagne and drunken renditions of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. That’s right, the New Year is upon us and so are the New Year’s resolutions we pretend we’ll keep. That said, I headed back to York University proud in the unrealistic notion that I was going to join the gym and really work at getting fit this year.

Alas, I spent all of 10 minutes at the gym, the entirety of which was spent at the reception, staring bleakly at the shiny machines that taunted me with their promises of getting fit, while I vainly attempted to argue with, bribe and blackmail the gym staff. My argument is this: if I had not been so dismayed at the sheer price of attending York University gym, I would be there now, shifting weights and running on the treadmill, happy in the knowledge that thus far my New Year’s resolution was still intact.

Instead, I am back in my room, allowing any dreams of fitness to waste away in order to instead write this article about how I would have gone to the gym, had it not been so damned expensive.

At £256 per year (including the sports membership fee of £40 that claims to ‘save’ students money), York has one of the highest, and in my opinion ridiculously overpriced, university gym memberships available. As a basic contrast, I offer you the annual membership costs of three other universities; Liverpool students will have to pay £116 this year; students at Hull will have to pay £175 and Birmingham students will pay £179.

In other words, I could pop down to Liverpool University gym a good 5 times (having paid the year’s membership and assuming that train fares will cost me approx. £20 return each time) and still be paying less than going to the gym at York Uni. Clearly that would be ridiculous- the 10 minute walk to the gym on campus just to exercise some more, gives me grief enough- but the point stands.

The University has drawn people in with the false hope of say, paying £100 (including a £40 sports membership fee) for 3 months membership. At around £33.33 p/m, you might think this is a reasonable price, until you realise that each term is only 2 months long. I assume like me, you won’t be using the university gym whilst you’re at home in Manchester, so that last month over Christmas/Easter is wasted. So really you’re paying £100 for 2 months membership, or £50 p/m. Not so good.

Another New Year, another New Year’s resolution out the window and it’s only Jan. 11th. Congratulations must go to the University of York for that.

13 comments

  1. add to the list of facts that the gym at the uni is ridiculously under equipped for a UNIVERSITY GYM. the lack of machines, free weight facilities and overall ‘value’ is shocking.

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  2. Or you can get a 6 month membership for £70 (plus £40 membership fee) which allows you to go all weekend, and before 3:30 during the week, actually turn up 4 or 5 times a week, and hey ho, that’s a pretty good deal.

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  3. A pretty good deal only if you ignore the fact that this is almost twice as much as a full (‘gold’) membership would cost you just a couple of years ago! The gym has now become ridiculously overpriced for no real reason, and I’m really surprised that YUSU doesn’t seem to do anything about this issue. As evidenced by this article, these prices are bound to discourage students from using a service that is important for their health and well-being. I obviously can’t know the numbers but it seems to me that the gym is far less busy than what it used to be.

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  4. http://www.ciao.co.uk/Lancaster_University__Review_5467376

    Lancaster gym is only £130 p/a? And YUSU is continually trying to lower sports centre prices (see Emily Scott’s current questionnaire/survey) but the problem is that the entirety of our sports facilities are owned by those money-grabbing scumbags known as Commercial Services. Their only intention is to get as much money from us as possible – they literally have no other issues. Sports should be a service, not a way of making money – and it currently isn’t.

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  5. 22 Jan ’10 at 9:45 pm

    Camlan Leitner

    Not sure where you got your figures from ‘anon’- I looked into all the memberships online and didn’t see anything like £70 for 6 months (including sports membership)….? There’s silver membership which says £70 for sports members for 6 months, but that’s after you’ve paid the £40 for sports membership…

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  6. 22 Jan ’10 at 10:09 pm

    Camlan Leitner

    Ah ignore that comment, mis-read your post :\

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  7. Surely if they were to decrease prices then demand would increase and therefore so would their revenue then everyone would win. It’s the simple laws of demand and supply.

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  8. Megs says:
    ‘Surely if they were to decrease prices then demand would increase and therefore so would their revenue then everyone would win. It’s the simple laws of demand and supply’.
    ————————————————————————————
    More people with memberships would mean more people attempting to use the gym at any given time. Consequently a need for more machines as people start lodging complaints about it being too busy. Costs increases for the gym would be inevitably followed by cost increases for students.

    Lancaster, Birmingham, and Hull have cheaper student gym memberships…whats that got to do with the price of fish? Irrelevant, infact a mute point.

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  9. and liverpool and UCL apparently.. it has to do with the fact that we’re paying £100 more than any other uni for our gym.. does that not bother you ‘Daddy Brown’?

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  10. “More people with memberships would mean more people attempting to use the gym at any given time. Consequently a need for more machines as people start lodging complaints about it being too busy. Costs increases for the gym would be inevitably followed by cost increases for students.”

    That’s all very nice in theory, but you ignore the fact that the prices were significantly lower just a couple of years ago and the gym was perfectly usable.

    “Lancaster, Birmingham, and Hull have cheaper student gym memberships…whats that got to do with the price of fish? Irrelevant, infact a mute point.”

    How is this in any way irrelevant? Doesn’t it show that we are just being exploited by the university’s commercial services? According to a friend of mine, his college’s gym in Cambridge costs £20 per term – and that even includes a bloody pool! So why exactly are we asked to pay five times as much to be allowed to use a substandard gym?

    Perhaps the ownership of the Sports Center should be passed to the Student Union. Judging by the success of the Courtyard, YUSU will probably be doing a much better job at managing it than the alleged professionals – the kind of professionals who can’t even sell alcohol to students.

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  11. Holding The Courtyard up as a beacon of good management is just silly. Why is it so popular? Because they spent half a million pounds furbishing it. Spend half of that money making McQs beautiful and I promise it would be packed. Maybe even bHenry’s. Maybe. Commercial Services would just never take that kind of risk.

    The priority for a university should be service, not profit. The same is true of term times. Our terms are ridiculous because the University wants the extra money that comes from renting out campus rooms to conference guests. Money that we hardly seem to see.

    If the University offered any sporting courses, we would be entitled to dip into the government’s sports fund, which could be used on more plentiful, cheaper equipment. Will it lower our academic prowess? Maybe, but I for one am sick of other Universities playing here and laughing at our ‘tent’.

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  12. “Holding The Courtyard up as a beacon of good management is just silly. Why is it so popular? Because they spent half a million pounds furbishing it.”

    And why wasn’t this investment an example of a good management decision?

    “Commercial Services would just never take that kind of risk.”

    Which is why they are not very good at what they are doing. This decision, that you seem to consider simplistic and commonsensical, was immediately followed by a dramatic increase in profitability that is highly unlikely to subside any time soon. In my opinion, for all its worth, a manager who refuses to make an investment that would effectively guarantee perpetual profitability is not a manager worth trusting with running anything.

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  13. 1 Aug ’10 at 6:25 pm

    CONCERNED CITIZEN

    I suggest you Leitner up.

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