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University Sport

Sports halls used for exams whilst university funds new refurbishments: the debate

With all the sports investment, Joe Wilkes asks, what have the petitioners got to complain about?

With the revamp of Langstone changing rooms costing nearly half a million pounds, a complete refurbishment of the synthetic turf on the flood lit pitch at the same facility and £50,000 worth of new equipment installed at St.Paul’s gym over summer, you could be forgiven for asking exactly what sportspeople at this university have to complain about.

Yet the issue over Nuffield sports hall being used as a space for exams has left many disgruntled, and you can see why. Regardless of the cost and the inconvenient rescheduling, the negative impact on the valuable intramural system is having the worst effect in this situation.

The intramural system solves the age old problem with elite sport vs. participation, by improving participation and giving non-elite, non club standard sportspeople a place to enjoy sport and compete. By damaging the intramural system there is an impact upon the fresh success that sports staff at the university and the Students’ Union have had with regards to increasing participation.

Although other universities do similar, wouldn’t it yet be better to use lecture halls or classrooms for exam rooms? Psychological studies have shown that taking a test in the same room that you study in aids memory and information recall.

Yet I still feel compelled to point out that university is primarily about education and gaining qualifications, so despite the importance that sports club members apply to their clubs, the ultimate priority must be students’ studies and everything which goes with it. Although perhaps better alternatives could be found at not too great a cost.

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