Update: After posting my blog on twitter (@megandsc) the SU (@LeicesterUnion) tweeted it to the Sports and Rec team (@UoLSports_Rec) who quickly got in touch. The issue has been raised within their senior team and hopefully I’ll get a full response after their next meeting. Time to worship the power of twitter 🙂 , thanks for the quick response guys!
This week I joined the University gym, this wasn’t a big I’m changing my lifestyle type decision just something I needed to do now that we’ve moved house and my old leisure centre isn’t very convenient anymore. I cancelled my old membership when we moved so this week I finally got round to walking all the way across campus (time taken ~5mins) to sort out something at the Danielle Brown sports centre.
I did a little digging before hand and found online the cost of membership and what was on offer and it all looked good. £210 for a years membership that includes the gym, exercise classes, using of the swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms. Perfect, exactly what I need! I can get the train in in the morning head to the gym, have a shower and come and start my day as normal. When I saw the facilities they all looked great, and I’ve already been to an exercise class in the week (you can easily book online). Overall I’m really happy with the facillities on offer however when it came to starting a membership the ever present issue of university facilities only catering to under-grads reared its ugly head.
The problem I came across was the the brilliant price for one year only runs Sept-Aug every year. This is ideal for undergrads who arrive in Sept/Oct time and often don’t stay for the summer, however very inconvenient for post-grads who are here all year round and may do crazy things like move house at times other than the start of the academic year. Split over 12 months (although it may actually only be valid for 11 I’m not sure) that means the monthly price is £17.50 (or £19 over 11 months). However I’ve had to get a term membership which lasts for 3months at a cost of £115, which works out to £38.33 per month. That’s a huge difference! I understand why a single term membership costs more, but I don’t understand why as a PhD student here all year round I’m not able to either start my yearly membership now or alternatively pay pro-rata from now until the end of August and begin a new membership in Sept/Oct. This is a classic example of how the needs of post-grad students who do not follow the typical undergrad year (not only am I here all year round but I also moved house in March) are essentially neglected by the systems in place. For context I was able to start a monthly student membership at my old local leisure centre at any time and pay £22.99 per month, this would be the case at any leisure centre that isn’t attached to a University.
Once again I want to stress how good a deal I think the yearly membership is, and the facilities all seem to be of a high standard, the only aspect I’m disappointed in is not being able to start a student membership whenever I want, perhaps the Students Union, who want to better represent the post-grad population, can help me out?