Gym Membership shake-up at Kent Sport

When elected VP Sport for Kent Union, one of Emily Window’s manifesto points was to review the gym membership prices and offers, hoping to make a change that would suit everyone. The surveys for the Kent Sport gym membership review are out, allowing students to have their say.

The change for the memberships was prompted by students being unable to afford the prices—which effects students being able to join Sports Clubs, as majority of them require a gym membership.

Kent Sport currently offer three levels of memberships. Gold, which costs £220 at the beginning of the year, Silver which costs £180 and Bronze which is pay as you go.

Kent Sport director Mel Clewlow stated: “Kent Sport membership is more than just a gym membership as it provides access to all facilities on campus. Each VP for sport, for as long as I can remember, has always put within their manifesto that they will try to make sport cheaper for students by lobbying Kent Sport! We have recently written a new 7-year joint sports strategy with the aim being to have ALL students at the University of Kent engaged in physical activity by 2025. This is a bold statement but one we feel is achievable if we get our membership pricing correct so it encourages students to become members. It should be noted that any surpluses made by Kent Sport are ploughed back into our facilities to maintain a safe and high-quality service to our members; so should any changes be made to our pricing structure, this can’t be to the detriment of our financial surpluses. We hope within the review/survey, students will provide us with ideas and thoughts on potential changes that could be made & not to just focus solely on cost”.

According to Emily Window: “for the last couple of years we’ve been hearing that students aren’t happy with the membership options available to them on campus for them to get involved in sport and physical activity on campus. Kent Sport and Kent Union are currently working together to review this and are conducting a survey to gain student feedback and listen to the student voice on this.

“I've been working closely with Kent Sport already this year on a number of projects, from Welcome Week events to This Kent Girl Can, and the Gym Membership Review is the next big project that Kent Union and Kent Sport are coming together to work on.

“We've jointly hired an external consultant who has suggested that we survey students to find out what the demand is for change.”

Team Kent Exec member and Women’s Lacrosse Vice-President Fiona Desmond-Collins, who also works closely with Emily Window, has said that she brought her gym membership just to use the facilities that are offered for Sports Club, being the Pavillion for Lacrosse. “There should also be a more basic membership for those getting into fitness for the first time who don't want to fork out 220 pounds. I think price is the main thing stopping people from keeping fit at uni. It's what stops most people joining a sports club.

“I didn't join lacrosse in my first year because I was so broke after buying a gym membership. It's only recently that we've seen a change as they've started to consult the union on what students want so hopefully this will change in the future.”

It appears that the students of UKC are keen for change. Becca Misevic, Lacrosse 2nd Team player and gym goer said: “I think [Kent sport memberships] are expensive for what you get and if I wasn’t in Lacrosse, I would probably have joined another gym in town where I can get a better deal”. Beth Mason, who is not a part of a Sports Club but uses the gym regularly for classes said: “I bought my membership to use the gym facilities, mainly the classes they offer. I think there’s a fairly good range of memberships offered, but that there’s room for improvement. I think the gym memberships are quite expensive, especially considering we’re students and a lot of us aren’t able to use the gym all year, we end up paying for months of gym time we don’t use. I wouldn’t be able to afford my membership without the support of my parents”.

The Survey closes on 25th January 2019, and need 2,000 responses to make a change. The survey is still suitable for those who don’t take part in the Sport, as Kent Sport and Kent Union need a wide variety in feedback in order to make any changes.

The survey can be filled out at who fill out the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon Voucher, Gold Kent Sport Membership (refunded if brought already), 10 x 20 KentOne Card Vouchers, 10 x 20 Vouchers to us at any Kent Union or Kent University outlet.

“My parting advice would be - fill out the survey, and pass it on as any housemates, coursemates and friends as you can! We all need to get behind this, so let's make a change”, are Windows final words. To hear more, KTV recently interviewed Emily Window on this big change she hopes to make, which you can find on their page.