VP for Student Engagement opens up on new sports membership scheme

Photograph by: Oliver Trapnell

The Vice President for Student Engagement, Emily Window, has opened up about new changes to the sports membership system at Kent in the new year.

After a survey conducted on campus, in which over 2500 students provided feedback following almost 10 years of student campaigning, the way Sport memberships will be organised is going to be changed.

Speaking to InQuire, Emily Window said: “the new membership model will provide students with flexibility, and that’s really important.”

“Now students just have the extra option to just take out a gym membership, or just take out a facility membership if they want to only participate in a sports club.”

Previously, Sports memberships were divided into 3 types, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Emily Window said: “the old membership model saw students having to take out a full membership which included the use of facilities they might not ever have used.”

In the student survey, two main issues were found to be prevalent among students, issues with the price of the membership options, and issues with a lack of sports facilities and opening hours.

Megan Warwick, the Captain of Kent’s Lacrosse Team, said: “I think that Kent sport are willing to make changes in their membership is a step in the right direction.”

However, some sports clubs may still require a Sport Membership, and the Vice President said: “if a sports club uses Kent Sport facilities to train or play BUCS, then students will need to purchase either a ‘Pay to Play’, ‘Plus’, or ‘Premium Plus’ membership”.

Many sports clubs currently don’t use sport facilities on campus, such as Kent Dance, the Rowing Club, and the University’s Swimming Club.

The new Sports Memberships are divided up into 3 categories, Plus, Premium, and Premium Plus.

The Plus Membership provides students with access to Sports facilities bookings, but does not include free access to the gym or fitness classes.

The Premium membership allows free access to the University gym and fitness classes, but does not include the use of sports facilities such as courts or pitches.

The final tier of membership is Premium Plus, which allows for both unrestricted access to the Sports facilities and gym facilities but is also the most expensive option.

Currently, it would cost £175 for a years access to sports facilities, with increased prices for gym access and access to both sports facilities and the gym.

However, Megan Warwick said: “buying a membership for just facilities and not the gym is still expensive, £175 is a lot of money.”

“I don’t necessarily think the changes will make individuals more interested in sports teams, or specifically Lacrosse as Lacrosse is an expensive sport already.”

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