The UCD Sports & Fitness Gym has come under fire from students complaining about the high demand for the limited fitness classes each week. The gym located in the Student Centre provides over 90 classes each week from trained instructors, but seem to be struggling to cope with the numbers.

One student who wished to remain anonymous spoke to the College Tribune on the subject, saying: ‘This is a major issue for the particularly popular ones such as Body Pump which fill from the online enrolment in less than a second – refreshing the page and clicking ‘book’ immediately once available is rarely successful.’ They went on to claim that the UCD Gym service is continuing ‘to tailor their timetables for private members to draw in more money from subscriptions. This is a welfare issue and also a moral issue – these facilities were built and paid for by student money and are run day-to-day with student money’.

There has been an increased interest in gym usage and fitness overall and the UCD campus is no exception to that. At the time of construction in 2012, the Student Centre was designed to facilitate predicted numbers attending the gym classes. Speaking to The College Tribune, a communications representative from UCD Sports & Fitness has stated: ‘The facility has adapted competently, year on year, providing an excellent service offering and environment where students can achieve their fitness goals under the guidance of industry experts.’

Over the last few years, the gym has seen increasing numbers, giving Student Services a tough time with managing the high demand. Though the fitness classes maybe be having difficulty accommodating the students, the overall sports and gym facilities prove to be functioning well: ‘the facility can account for over 20,000 student visits per month whilst also accommodating over 8,500 student sports club members per week with access to halls, studios and an exclusive team gym to fulfil their sporting aspirations at UCD.’

The overall student opinion on the facilities is not in question and many students seem content with the service being provided, the issue coming into the crossfire is their inability to cope with the numbers. UCD Student Services acknowledged this saying: “Due to the high-quality service offering, participation levels throughout these outlined channels have indeed grown, and pressure is being heavily placed on studio and training space within the facility. The success of the service and shift in campus culture has evidently become our Achilles heel’.

Fortunately, there seems to be some traction on improving the facilities and fixing this issue. The UCD Sport & Fitness Communications Officer had some positive news for those awaiting a much-needed solution: ‘To accommodate and future proof the physical wellbeing of our student body, we can report that a capital development plan is in works and provisions for expansion are being developed to ensure we can scale to meet and deliver on our student’s aspirations. We look forward to sharing these provisions with you and the entire student body in the near future.’

Conor Capplis – News Writer