Essex Sport Board update - the future of sport
You could easily say I was thrown in into the deep end (and I wouldn’t stop you) when I started this job, as half way through my training in July I was notified that that there were already significant plans in progress of being approved. Such plans that would have a huge impact on the overall student experience of sport here at Essex.
Some of you may have been fortunate enough to experience what was known as ‘free sport’, if you are in first year however, you won’t have had the luxury. For a period of 4 years students were able to participate, play sport and represent the university for free – however this model proved to not be sustainable and as such the University have made the decision to not continue with it and move to a chargeable model this year instead.
Of which some of you may find understandable, as sport is expensive to run, however the paper that was submitted to the Board planned for students to pay 99% more than they already did the previous academic year by purchasing the minimum Essex Sport membership which is the Bronze priced at £99 to help contribute to the overall subsidy of sport.
The charge would mainly affect clubs who use on campus facilities as each individual would need to pay it in order to access such facilities. But it was suggested that every club member - both campus and non campus should pay it. Which given the conditions of some facilities, and the fact that some members may not even step one foot unto campus facilities we thought was highly unfair.
I expressed these feelings and offered a compromise (I want to make this clear that as a SU we do not agree with charging for sport at all) however in a bid to work collaboratively with the university I suggested an alternative called the ‘Copper Membership’ (I tried to stay within the current theme of metals) which would be priced at £50 and would only be for club sessions with no other benefits.
Now before you all shout at me, I know this wasn’t the best deal but it was the best I could offer in my 21 seconds as an officer. Regardless this proposal was dismissed at the board, as it was expressed that introducing a 4th tier of membership would ‘further confuse students’ of which I disagreed. What was instead proposed was to see if the £99 Bronze could be reduced to a much lower price. Though it was highly unlikely that it would be decreased to £50, that was the end of the matter.
We were to be updated with the new price, if there was to be a new price in the following soon after the Board were dismissed.
The next post should be about the outcome of this meeting/ update on the price!
See you soon,