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Concern over Sports Centre price hike

There concern among sports clubs over an increase in the cost of renting Sports Centre facilities (Thumbnail credit Image: Phlippa Grafton)

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There concern among sports clubs over an increase in the cost of renting Sports Centre facilities.

While many members of sports clubs are happy with the new membership options available, there is some anger with the cost of renting facilities such as badminton or squash courts.

It is now only £15 a month to use the gym and court hire compared to last year when only platinum membership would provide this at a cost of £90 for 3 months, £260 for 9 months or £300 for a year.

However the prices for renting courts for both non-members and members has gone up. Rental of the sports hall has gone up from £18 to £25 and is now £40 for non-members. It is also more expensive for guests to play with members. It is now £2.50 to play on a court rented out by gym member whereas before it was free if the guest was a York Sport member.

Racket sport clubs are particularly worried about the increases and are concerned that people who want to book racket courts will be put off by the high charge. They are worried that the price increases could put off new players at a time when there is a push to get people involved in trying new sports.

The Badminton and Squash Clubs negotiated a reduction in fees for club activities last week after discussions with the Sports Centre and Charlotte Winter, York Sport President.

Baillie Watterson, Badminton Team President, commented on the price changes: "I just want to start by saying the £15 a month for access to Sports Centre (gym and racket courts booking) is actually a very good deal, the same price over nine months as bronze membership last year, but with access to the sports centre gym. "

He added that there were now worries it could affect college badminton: "We had concerns from UYBC members including those who run coaching sessions and college captains, many of whom used racket memberships last year to book college training, as some were unable to get financial support from their colleges for college training sessions, leaving them with the cost of booking weekly courts.

"With the guest fee or higher booking charge, this could decrease involvement in college badminton, just as we announce the exciting introduction of a new college singles league.

"Racket Sports account for a large proportion of the Sports Centre bookings, however with the increases in price and removal of free student parking outside, we worry many new students could be put off giving it a try.

"Sports Centre gym and racket membership is great value, if you happen to know others who also have it too. Otherwise, you could be left on your own practicing serving."

The Sports Centre commented that the change to prices were "long-overdue" as they had not increased for number of years.

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