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- 06 August 2014 00:00
- in Education
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- Last Modified: 06 August 2014 09:16
AoC Sport has officially launched as the new representative organisation that aims to increase participation and investment in college sport and physical activity.
AoC Sport was formed following the merger of British Colleges Sport and the Association of Colleges sport policy team.
Richard Atkins has begun his terms as AoC Sport Chairman and believes exciting times are now ahead.
"Our vision is that every college student is encouraged, supported and has the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity as an integrated part of their college experience, contributing to learning, progression and the development of active and sporting habits for life,” he said.
"Colleges have already had a fine tradition of helping and supporting some our top sportspeople – athlete Adam Gemili attended Barking and Dagenham College, four-time Olympic Champion sailor Sir Ben Ainslie attended Peter Symonds College and professional boxer Amir Khan went to Bolton College.
"But what we want to do is make sure college sport is accessible to everyone at all levels – whether it is taking part in a weekly Zumba class or being part of the college basketball team.”
The launch of AoC Sport comes following the conclusion of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games where college students won a total of 17 medals.
The AoC Sport Head of Sports Policy Clare Howard said the new organisation will continue to look to help elite talent, such as the athletes who appeared at Glasgow 2014, as well as encourage all college students to take part in sport and physical activity at all levels.
"The purpose of the new organisation is to act as a champion for college sport, representing and supporting colleges and increasing the amount of people taking part in sport and physical activity in colleges,” explained Howard.
"We will build on the work of its predecessor British Colleges Sport in promoting college sport and delivering competitions and events.
"At the Commonwealth Games, we have already seen the role colleges play in developing successful students.
"As a collective, current college students won 17 medals – which would put them 13th on the final medal table, ahead of Wales and Northern Ireland for example.”
One of the responsibilities of AoC Sport will be the development of sport competitions.
Over 18,000 students already take part in leagues and over 15,000 in cups.
The annual National Championships is one of the largest national multi-sport events in the UK, with over 1,800 students competing in 14 sports.