31 March 2011
Students at Canterbury Christ Church University are being urged to give sport another go after a project secured 174,053 pounds in National Lottery funding from Sport England.
Along with 40 other projects, CCCU Try Sport is being backed by Sport England’s £10 million Active Universities fund to get more university students playing sport, as part of the mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
CCCU Try Sport will provide a variety of sporting activities to help improve student participation across the campus network. Students will be able to try sports such as archery, badminton and hockey, under the guidance of qualified coaches. In addition to encouraging greater participation, the income generated from the sessions will go towards funding students to gain coaching qualifications. This will help ensure the sustainability of the project.
Dr Andrew Balsdon, Canterbury Christ Church University Director of Sport, said:
“The Canterbury Christ Church students will have the opportunity to Try a variety of sports to encourage participation in physical activity and enjoy developing new skills. Our aim is to work in partnership with national governing bodies and local sport providers, especially sports clubs such as Polo Farm Sports Club in Canterbury, where we can integrate our students into playing sport in the local community whilst they are studying.”
The Active Universities projects will give tens of thousands of students across the country the chance to try out a new sport, or get back into one they’ve tried before.
Boosting student participation will have a lasting impact on grassroots sport because research shows that students who do play sport at university are far more likely to continue participating throughout their lives. It will also help tackle the issue of drop-off in sports participation that sees many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:
“Young adults who are still playing sport when they leave university are likely to stick with it for life, so this is a good investment in the future. These projects have been chosen because they really listened to what students wanted, so we are confident they will succeed in increasing participation.”
Today’s announcement was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP and Olympic Gold medalist, Amy Williams.
Hugh Robertson said:
“This funding for 41 different sport projects across the country is exactly what our Olympic legacy promise is about – offering more opportunities for people to get involved. This will boost university sport and encourage students to continue playing once their studies are over.”
Amy Williams, who won Olympic Gold in the skeleton at the 2010 Games, only took up her sport while at the University of Bath, having been a 400m runner at school. She said:
“Going to university is a great chance to try out something new and in my case that something new was the skeleton. Sport is an amazing way to make friends, get fit, have fun and pick up skills that could help you get a job when your student days are over.”
Recognising the strong tradition of competitive sport within universities, Active Universities projects will meet the need for more informal and social sporting opportunities. The projects were chosen through a competitive process.
Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, Ed Smith, said:
“This represents a great outcome for Higher Education and a fabulous opportunity to increase the depth and breadth of participation by young people whilst they benefit from academic studies and the overall student experience at university. The link between sport and life skills is evident from the way employers seek out people who are active in sport and this will be a boost as graduates make their way into the job market.”
Sport England is focused on the delivery of a mass participation legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We invest National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.
For more information please contact the press office: Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1800.
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national organisation for higher education sport.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.