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There have been major changes to the sports membership system this year, allowing students to pay by monthly direct debit and giving more flexibility in membership types, Nicky Withers reports.

The University have been working hard to improve the sport membership system, after coming under fire in an Epigram investigation last year, available at http://epigram.org.uk/sport/2016/10/bristol-tops-league-table-thanks-to-pricey-gym, which showed them to have the second most expensive peak gym access across the 25 universities investigated.

However, considerable progress has been made. The previous number of four membership types has now been extended to five providing more flexibility. Also new for this year is the ability to pay by a monthly direct debit, which you can stop and start freely, allowing students to stop paying when they go home for summer.

Alternatively, if staying in Bristol all year round, the 12 month membership comes at reduced cost compared with last year, with the most expensive (Active Plus) coming down from £290 to £225.

The main concern in previous years has been to access the gym in peak (now called premium) times, students were forced to purchase the most expensive Active Plus Pass. Now the Active #2 membership can grant premium gym access, at £19.99 a month or £180 a year.

If you’re happy to go to the gym before 3pm on weekdays, you can add swimming or classes to your Active #2 pass. Or even purchase the cheaper Active #1 pass at £15.99 a month or £144 a year.

Sport and Student Development Officer, John House commented on the change, ‘For longer than I can remember the cost of sport has been an issue at the front of students’ minds, so I’m delighted to see the fantastic progress that’s been made with the new sports pass offer from the Sport Exercise and Health department.

Bristol SU worked closely with them to create the best deal for students possible. Students can, for the first time, start and stop their membership at any time, which alongside the significantly reduced cost and greater choice, will hopefully allow more students to access the great range of activity available at Bristol.

For less money than two meal deals you can now access all of the B:Active Campus program and club sessions for a month. If that’s not a win I don’t know what is.’

All of the memberships give students access to the B:Active Campus programme and intramural sport without any extra cost. B:Active is a series of different classes and activities that take place across the university precint, timetables will be released soon.

If you’d rather exercise a little closer to home then B:Active may well be coming to an accommodation near you. With a wide variety of classes, there’s something for everyone and you can feel comfortable with your friends right by your own flat.

Getting away from everything may be more your goal and there are coached activites like running and tennis. Suitable for both beginners and those with more experience, it’s an opprtunity to get out of the house and some fresh air. Great for both your physical and mental health.

It’s easy to get involved by applying online at the SU website and a great way to keep fit whilst making friends.

If you would prefer a team sport but without the solid commitment, then intramural sport is more up your street. Football and hockey are among some of the available sports, with teams based on courses, accommodations or societies. It’s easy to get involved by applying online at the SU website and a great way to keep fit whilst making friends.

Matt Birch (Director of Sport) gave a statement about the new system, ‘We’re expanding what’s available, for free, to students in University Residences, and are really proud of the work we’ve done with the SU to achieve all this.

We’re here to provide flexible, affordable ways for every single student to stay active and feel part of the community.  There are even some completely new things like additional discounts for any student in receipt of a University bursary.

As John House says it has taken some time, and now we are in a much better place.  We’re looking forward to welcoming all students, new or returning, to being part of what’s on offer.’

There’s so much to get involved with, head to http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sport/activities/ for more information on how to take advantage of these initiatives.


Does the change in cost directly affect you?
Do you think this is a step in the right direction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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