Believe it or not, one of my main reasons for applying to the University, was the promise of amazing gym facilities arriving in the very near future.
But so far, they’ve been a major disappointment. The problems lie in the fact that the gym on Hes East was never designed with students in mind. It has been built to make money, meaning that it needed to appeal to the larger, local population of York. To fulfill such a purpose, the ridiculous inflexible membership system exists.
Why am I paying for a swimming pool I’ll never use? Why can I not pay to participate in classes on a one off basis?
Considering the original gym on Hes West is charging less than half the membership fees for the facilities I wanted, you might question why I use Hes East?
Simply because the Hes West gym was never well-advertised. Too keen to promote their new venture, the University failed to give their students all the information they needed in order to make a fair and balanced judgment.
Not only is the pricing system not suited to the students, but the gym’s location limits its accessibility, especially before the bus routes were (sort of) finalised this term. Seemingly miles from even the Hes East campus, the location is close to inaccessible, unless you have a car. And let’s be honest – most of us don’t. We are instead limited to the buses, a bike, or – god forbid – our own two feet. Granted that cycling isn’t the end of the world, transporting yourself to and from the gym takes time that we don’t necessarily have to waste.
Balancing academic commitments, social lives, perhaps a job, sports, societies, and the gym leaves us with very little time for trekking out to the sticks. These transport issues limit the frequency of trips to the gym for some, and so we are not getting our money’s worth from the already inflexible membership.
The classes provided are not totally student friendly either; who on earth is going to beginners spinning at 7:15am on a Monday? Revs is calling my name, my friends.
There is also a dire lack of classes at the weekend, the time when we have the most time to spare. Both these problems need to be dealt with, especially the weekend classes.Even if the University wants to focus on the locals, surely they want to use the gym at the weekends more too?
And finally, as a member of a sports club who were promised certain facilities which never materialised, I am probably more disappointed than most. We were also not made aware of potential ways in which we could use the spaces and equipment that are available until we directly asked. In direct contrast to our situation, other clubs were provided with additional space due to their status as a BUCS sport and their success there. We too are a winning team, but not being a BUCS sport stops us being a priority for York Sport. Overall, the overpriced under-development does not provide for those who should be at the centre of its market. We are University of York students and this is, in part, a University of York facility.
These issues should be addressed, and I hope that eventually the problems will be ironed out. But I’ll be heading back to Hes West next year for definite.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, and not signing up to the no frills gym has definitely made me more grateful for the simple things in life.