£40? Sadly, it’s simple mathematics

It all boils down to the money. And for sport at York, it boils down the fact that we just don’t have any. Like most of you, TM was left confused and feeling vaguely violated when asked to stump up £40 to get into the Sports Centre this October, simply to use the changing rooms. ?Finally, it seems, we are emerging from what Alex Lacy calls the ‘time warp’ of dangerously outdated facilities, but why should students have to foot the bill?

We are long-suffering sports men and women at York. Most recently the slip-sliding tennis Court 1 has been closed because the players ended their last game with bleeding battle scars to go with their impressive straight-set victories. And talking of suffering, who hasn’t marvalled on a chilly November evening at how, having run solidly for an hour, it is somehow possible to leave the tent colder than when you started?

The list of hurt does go on, but TM must restate: it all comes down to cashflow. The Sports Centre – which operates under the umbrella of Commercial Services – spent £1.2m over the summer on essential renovation work and, yes, the students have had to foot the bill.

It is entirely unfair but also deadly realistic. As Nouse revealed last issue, York students get terrible value for money in terms of sport compared to other top universities. But there is a reason. Unlike Leeds or Manchester, our university doesn’t offer any sporting degrees. If it did, we would be entitled to dip into the golden honey-pot of the government’s HESKI funding. That would mean no more slippery courts, no more freezing tents, and no more sludgy running tracks.

As it is, the Sports Centre has to break even to survive, and the only way of doing so without HESKI is by raising money through customers: the students. According to Rena Quarton, the interim manager, ‘profit’ is as good as a foreign word to the Sports Centre – and she doesn’t expect that to change. As for the ludicrously singular centre entry/exit barrier, get this fact: it would have cost an extra £26,000 to put in a second.

Here’s hoping some crafty budgeting and some fresh ideas from?incoming Sports Centre manager Rob?Wadsworth will last us until the honey arrives.

…Or Maybe It’s Lacymatics?

And so the number of suckers paying £40 for the privilege of gaining access to the luxuriously-renovated sports centre has reached 2700 which, according to some dubious Lacymatics, represents 25% of the student population. TM was under the impression that the student population numbered some 13,000, but anyway.

Though there is some light at the end of this money drain. For some reason – obviously entirely unconnected to the extravagent £40 membership fee – York Sport has miraculously made a tidy £8000 profit! How to spend such a bounty? Well, after non-sport societies and RAG take their not inconsiderable and entirely unnecessary slice, new martial arts equipment and a snooker hall have been promised. But will they materialise? TM awaits their appearances with baited breath…

2012 archery base for University

Londoners might be complaining about the tax increases, but the University of York is set to benefit from the 2012 Olympics without students stumping up any additional cash (here’s hoping!). The university has been approved as a potential training base for an archery team in the build-up to the games.

“At the moment we are in a sort of limbo, waiting to be contacted by a national committee,” said Jo Gilliland, the head of sport and leisure at City of York Council.
“But the university has been selected as one of four venues in York that hit the criteria, and could well host a team”

Gilliland is also keen to get students involved in a “Cultural Olympiad” as the games approaches. A wide-ranging program of events will be announced in April next year as a “call to action” for the people of York and the Ciy council hopes both the university and students will play important roles in the festivities as the the Olympic torch heads our way.