Student anger over low refunds after six months of pool closure

Swimming and Waterpolo club Captain and keen swimmer Steven Bayton got meagre refunds.

Members of Goodwin Sports Centre have been angered by meagre refunds offered by the Centre after the swimming pool was closed for six months.

Students who bought £150 memberships have received only £15 for their trouble, despite only joining the gym to use the pool.

Members of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union Swimming and Waterpolo Club also lost a substantial amount of money after their refunds did not cover initial costs of joining the club and gym.

Captain Jenny Dean said: “Club members were very disappointed by the refund offered.

“Many bought membership solely to utilise the swimming training facility.

“A lot of us received only a third of our monthly refund, and we’ve only been given four months worth of refunds despite the pool closing for six months.”

This means off-peak gym members have lost £58 each while peak members have lost over £90 pounds.
The club has over 60 members who all paid to use the swimming pool.

The refund system is based on the fact that Goodwin offers three facilities to members: the pool, gym, and fitness classes.

Dean said: “Because of the thirds system, Goodwin said they couldn’t offer a full refund because the other two facilities are open, even though we joined to use the pool.

“I feel there was a lack of communication from Goodwin as I did not receive any further information about the pool reopening since March.

Cross Country Running Captain Steven Bayton is one of many students who paid £150 to join the centre, intending only to use the pool, but was given just £15 back.

Bayton should have been paid £25 according to Goodwin’s refund policy of paying back a third of the monthly fee, £10 more than what he was given.

Bayton said: “£15 is not enough considering the pool closed for six months.

“They didn’t even inform us that we could claim refunds, I had to go to the reception desk and ask. Even then I had to tell them how often I would have been using the pool had it been open”.

The pool closed in early November during refurbishment to the S10 Gym’s Health changing rooms.
During these works it was discovered that the air handling system could not maintain the pool’s ‘air’ temperature.

A University spokesman said at the time: “It is the University’s intention to carry out asbestos abatement works within plant areas.

“This work can only be undertaken when the pool is closed.”

The Sports Centre sent one email in March informing students of the pool works progress. They originally said the pool would be closed for just three months.

Since the loss of the Swimming and Waterpolo club’s only pool training facility, the club saw a dramatic drop in membership.

Dean added: “A lot of people came to Goodwin before, but stopped when the pool closed. We went from having 50-60 people to only about 20 swimmers.”

Forge Press have contacted Goodwin Sports Centre several times, but no statement had been issued at the time of going to print.

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