Students To Run Gym Workshops

New Sports proposals include training students to run classes themselves


A new cost-cutting proposal revealed on Tuesday suggests training students to teach gym classes alongside paid coaches.

The suggestion was one of many announced by Director of Sport Simon Hinks at this week’s Sport, Exercise & Health talk, which – despite great publicity – suffered an appallingly low turnout of no more than a dozen students.

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Although the proposal may face legal barriers, it is reportedly a model the University are keen to pursue, as it will allow them to provide more workshops for less money.

Further developments to the Tyndall Avenue gym are also under discussion, as well as an expansion of the Coombe Dingle facilities. Improvements to the Boathouse are also being looked into.

Coombe Dingle manager, Andrew Mulligan, revealed “we’d like to add another artificial pitch”, plus a new all-weather 4G pitch. These are understood to be long-term aims.

For now, Mulligan said a new bar and catering contract is close to being finalised, with prices matched to the Student Union. Refurbishments will be taking place, including new flooring and sofas, whilst Sky Sports will be installed.

Pulse Gym officer, James Rowntree, said until the expansion programme comes to fruition, “the challenge is to manage demand”.

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To try and stop the gym becoming too busy, people will be encouraged to come at quieter times, particularly to morning workshops. Alternative facilities will be used for some sessions, such as halls of residence.

Gym etiquette is also something that Rowntree is keen to improve. He is considering establishing a code of conduct and launching a publicity campaign through social media.

Other initiatives include an online booking system for all sporting facilities, including those in halls of residence. Meanwhile, UBU Active, a scheme aiming to widen student involvement in sport, will “become embedded in University life”.

The department is also working on increasing funding for individual elite sportsmen and increasing participation in and improving facilities for disabled sports. They’re also going to enhance the club hand-over process, setting up workshops to help new team captains.

Everyone agreed the key to continuing sporting success is a positive, formalised partnership between the Union and the Sports department. Simon Hinks was keen to emphasise the progress made in this area.

The Q&A session provoked some heated discussion. One Athletics club member suggested the gym is not competitive commercially but was told facilities would not be able to meet demand if prices were lowered.

Let us know your thoughts on the proposed changes in the comments below.