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Students say the University gym is too expensive

By River Reporter Mar 7, 2013

Students have slammed the University gym for its payment system.

Jack Hammond

The price of a gym membership at the University is a one off payment of £185 for the whole year and cannot be cancelled during that period. 

‘The Gym’ costs £16.99 per month and can be cancelled at any point, the same as the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

However joining the University gym requires a bulk payment that is too much for the average student.

The price comparison

KU students using ‘The Gym’ in Kingston can pay £152 for nine months, meaning they do not pay for the summer months when they are not here.

In comparison they pay £30 more using the University gym for a whole year with a less flexible membership.

Trisha Jerele, a KU media and cultural studies student, said: “The University gym is way too expensive compared to Kingfisher with their student discount.

“Also the University has different types of memberships which dictate what time of the day you can go and work out, which is ridiculous.”

The latest equipment

The University gym has the latest cardiovascular equipment, but students still feel that the price is just too much.

Instead, KU students are choosing to use ‘The Gym’ on Adams Walk, or the facilities at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre as they offer flexible memberships to fit around a student’s lifestyle.

Rahul Bajaj, a second-year criminology student said: “‘The Gym’ is a much better proposition for any student of Kingston.

“It offers rolling monthly contracts with the ability to cancel whenever you want.”

“You would expect it [the University gym] to be a little cheaper than it is considering we’re students at the University. Because of this I chose to move to ‘The Gym’. I wouldn’t change that either, unless of course the University reduced their prices, or switch to a more flexible monthly.”

Even though the University gym is now run by Energy Fitness Professionals, it is still smaller compared to the other gyms in Kingston. For the price the University gym does not give members access to a swimming pool like the Kingfisher Leisure Centre or the David Lloyd.

Why one payment?

Ricky James, duty manager of the University gym, explained the reason for the one off payment.

He said: “The reason for the lump sum payment is that in the past we have done direct debits but students cancel them at their bank and as they are still contracted we have to send their details to debt collectors.

“In the long run this is worse for the student as it gives them bad credit scores as well as incurring an additional debt collector cost.

“As students don’t get their student loans until October, we offer to freeze collection of the fee until their loan has reached their account.”

A happy medium

‘The Gym’ and Kingfisher Leisure Centre offer the cheapest gym membership’s in Kingston. However, the Virgin Active gym in the Bentall Centre offers the most expensive membership at £52.95 per month, for a fixed 12 month contract.

Mr James said: “We are a happy medium. We have high level equipment, classes and highly qualified staff. You wouldn’t get degree level instructors  at any of the other gyms in Kingston.” 

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