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- 19 November 2013 00:00
- in Education
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- Last Modified: 26 November 2013 03:56
Further education and sixth form colleges across the country have been invited to bid for a share of £5.8 million from Sport England’s Further Education Activation Fund.
The National Lottery investment funding is aiming to increase the number of students taking part in physical activity by supporting colleges to create sporting projects tailored to the needs of their students.
The new funding comes after Sport England’s Active People Survey revealed that college students play the least sport of students aged 16 and over.
Almost 66% of school pupils aged 16 and over participate in sport at least once a week, compared to just 52% of higher education students and 50% of further education students.
"We know there is a challenge to address the drop off rate of people participating in sport after they leave school but the Further Education Activation Fund will make a difference on that front,” said Minister for Sport Helen Grant.
"It encourages innovative thinking and projects to help keep young people playing sport and bring others back participating.”
The announcement marks the second round of funding from the £8 million Further Education Activation Fund.
"Colleges are hubs for their communities supporting people of all ages and have the potential to influence the sporting habits of both young people and adults,” said Sport England’s Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper.
"This fund will help colleges provide practical, innovative, affordable and attractive sporting opportunities that fit in with their busy lifestyles.”
Projects that benefited from the first round of funding include the Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge which received £46,300 to encourage more students to take part in sport.
After asking over 600 pupils what would make them play more sport, the college launched ‘Give it a Go’, a programme of sporting activities catering to their student’s needs.
Activities planned include 6 week taster sessions for beginners, informal turn up and play sessions and competitive sport leagues in sports including netball and futsal.
"Hills Road has always enjoyed a strong sporting tradition but in these very difficult financial times the college has faced a huge challenge to continue to offer a comprehensive sports programme,” said Principal Linda Sinclair.
"Sport England’s Further Education Activation Fund has helped us deliver a variety of activities to increase the number of students who engage regularly in some form of physical or sporting activity.
The funding is part of Sport England’s five-year £1 billion Youth and Community Strategy designed to help more people than ever to get involved in sport.
There are currently 15.5 million people playing sport every week which shows an increase of 1.57 million since 2005/06.
Applications are now being accepted to the Further Education Activation Fund and will close on 20 January 2014.
To find out more about the fund, Click Here