Update: Petition Saves Sports Clubs

Student pressure has persuaded the University to reinstate a pay-as-you-go system for sports facilities


The petition has been signed by nearly 10% of the student body.

Following the UBUC petition, student outrage and Tab coverage, the University have announced they will meet demands for a pay-as-you-go sports pass.

‘Today Simon Hinks announced to club captains that the pay-as-you-go system for sports facilities will be reintroduced at off-peak periods’ says Joe Hawksworth, the student behind the petition.

‘This is clearly fantastic news for all societies affected by the changes and students wishing to use facilities on a casual basis.’

‘Pay-as-you-go is a lifeline for many of Bristol’s longest standing clubs; I know that the Underwater Club, Jujutsu and Life Saving, amongst many others, will be celebrating the news!’

Lynn Robinson

Lynn Robinson, Deputy Registrar for Education and Students, said ‘In light of recent feedback we have decided to reinstate the ‘pay and play’ option during off-peak hours at the swimming pool and sports centre. We will continue to review this throughout the year in discussion with the current sabbatical offers and sports club representatives’.

‘The structure of the membership system was changed in response to a Just Ask consultation last year which showed 60 per cent of respondents were concerned about overcrowding of the sports facilities’.

The petition demands have been met with one exception; the introduction of a pay-as-you-go system for peak periods.

Joe continues, ‘Sport at UoB is still too expensive and inaccessible. I hope recent events will give the Union impetus to bring sport pricing in line with motions passed at last year’s AGM’.

However, he does admit, ‘All in all, I’m very, very happy with today’s result!’

UBUC will be celebrating the success of their petition
Picture: Holly Vint

Dave Wilby, president of UBUC, praised the efforts of Alex Brinkmeyer and Alex Bourla as well as Joe, stating they ‘worked tirelessly’ on the campaign.

‘The removal of pay and play was forcing us to find other places to train which would not have been practical given the amount of kit we need to transport’.

If anyone was wondering, ‘We’ll be celebrating by getting in the pool and teaching people to dive!’

Lynn Robinson asserts ‘The University is absolutely committed to supporting participation in sport and promoting healthy living. We are also committed to positive engagement with the student body over how we can best improve access and facilities within the resources we have available’.