For the select few who want to subject themselves to the torture of regular exercise, thankfully for you Southampton University is a great place for that sort of debauchery. With one of the largest and most modern University gyms in the country, and access to much more alongside, there are many ways to get sweaty and out-of-breath.
With 94 official sports societies (including quidditch and sardines!), there are many ways to get involved with sport at the university. Indeed, Varsity (essentially a mini-Olympics between Southampton University and Portsmouth University) is the highlight of the University sporting calendar. Last year we went to Portsmouth and obviously we won. As well as this, there are hundreds of fixtures played between university teams throughout the year, with subjects, societies or even halls of residence facing pitting their wits against each other through the medium of sport.
However, if pounding the treadmill with a pained look on you face or straining to lift a weight so much that your face turns purple is your sort of thing, then you are well catered for also. To access the wonders of the University Gym – known as the Jubilee Sports Centre – you will need to invest some of your hard-earned money (the Student Finance system is a nightmare to get through) into a Sports and Wellbeing membership pass which is £155 per academic year. I’m told that this is good value. Thankfully, if you live in Halls of Residence, you get a free bus pass included in your accommodation fees, so there is no agonising decision for you to make between the two.
So, what’s included in this £155 gym pass? Well, the short answer is a lot. Brace yourselves:
- Access to the Jubilee Sports Centre gym, on Highfield Campus. Open Monday-Sunday 07:00 – 22:00
- Unlimited access to Southampton University’s 25m Swimming Pool
- Two different Sports Halls (8 court and 4 court)
- 4 Squash Courts
- Martial Arts Studio
- Indoor Cycling Studio
- Our Very own Climbing Wall
- Access to Halls of Residence gyms in Mayflower, Wessex Lane (Connaught) and Glen Eyre
- Wide Lane Sports Centre – 2 astro-turf pitches, 8 tennis courts, approximately 20 grass pitches, a performance centre and yet another gym
- Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre – 400m athletics track and a DRY SKI SLOPE!!
- The Quays Swimming & Diving complex – swimming pool and a gym by the sea for all you NOC students (the diving boards aren’t free)
- University Watersports Centre – A shooting/archery range, plus reduced hire of sailing boats, kayaks and powerboats
- Chamberlayne Leisure Centre – Access to the gym in Chamberlayne
- Bitterne Leisure Centre – Access to the gym and swimming pool in Bitterne. Apparently this place has something called an ‘Advanced Motion Trainer’. Fancy.
- Free fitness classes, including: Aerobics, Circuits and Insanity (how insane!)
So, quite a lot of stuff included for the price then. I’m worn out already just thinking about all that. Here’s what our VP Sports Development, Jamie Wilson, had to say about the incredible value Sports & Wellbeing membership is here at Southampton:
The membership is one of the cheapest in the country for the number of facilities included in the price. The membership includes a wide variety of sports from sailing to skiing and therefore is great value for money. However, I am working on getting a tiered membership implemented so that you only have to pay for what you want to use.
Tiered membership was a big talking point in last year’s sabbatical elections. Essentially, if this was to be implemented, it would mean that if you only wanted to use, say, the swimming pool, you would only pay for the swimming pool ‘part’ of the membership fee. The aim is for tiered membership to be introduced in September 2016.
Of course, if you don’t want to fork out £155 of membership, there is the possibility of hiring out sports equipment, playing courts, and sessions in the swimming pool. You won’t be able to access the gym, however.
For further information, including those all-important T&C’s, please check the sports & fitness section of the university website here.