Beginner’s Guide to the Sports Centre


Always told yourself that University was the place you were finally going to join the gym? Yeah, well me too. Before now I’d never been one for much exercise – I’d enjoyed the occasional team sport such as netball or hockey, but the idea of actually going for a run filled me with utter horror. Why would anybody want to run in a big circle back to where they started and get sweaty and out of breath? Or, even worse, not actually even go anywhere on a treadmill and get sweaty and out of breath.

Then I figured it out; if you’re always aware of trying to improve yourself and you’ve got a slight competitive edge, seeing your run time/distance/fitness improve week on week is something that can’t be beaten. I joined the campus gym in late Michaelmas term last year and never looked back.

There are lots of different things the campus gym offers including: two fitness suites; a 25m pool (with a sauna and steam room!); a variety of classes from kickboxing to spin to yoga; a studio with it’s own fitness equipment; and of course the climbing wall. There is so much to do you can’t possibly fit it all in, and I’ve had to pick and choose what I want to partake in – or not partake in as the case may be! I took one look at the new addition of outdoor bootcamp last term and decided that that definitely wasn’t for me.

There are also many ways you can get involved; there’s the different types of membership, the benefits and prices of which I won’t go into here (it’s on the sports centre website!), but you can also do pay as you play if you feel that you can’t commit to a full membership. This allows you to test lots of things out without having to feel tied down or obligated to use that £££ membership. When I started out, I started on a silver membership, which allows you to have unlimited access to the gym and the pool, but means you have to pay for classes. This year I chose to upgrade because I was going to enough classes to make it economically worthwhile.

Stating the obvious, joining up to the gym has a lot of benefits. I guess this is the case with most exercise but it gives you more energy, makes you feel better (endorphins for the win!) and of course it makes you fitter. I was amazed at how much I began to enjoy it after I’d been going for a while; though I’m not going to lie, the first few weeks of exercise were a bit of a shock to the system!

So if you’ve been wondering what the brick-like black building is down by the lake – or have been wondering whether or not it’s for you – go check it out! As I said, there’s something for everyone and plenty of ways to test the waters before you dive in.

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