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- 19 September 2014 00:00
- in Education
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- Last Modified: 19 September 2014 05:47
New research from AoC Sport has revealed that more college students than ever are now participating in sport.
The results from the annual College Sport Survey show that 20% of all students are regularly taking part in sport or physical activity at college, meaning an increase in 5% from 2013.
"Increasing participation in sport and physical activity is one of our priorities,” said AoC Chair Richard Atkins.
"It is excellent news that participation levels are on the up but we realise there is still more that needs to be done.
"In the last year, the number of females taking part in sport and physical activity has fallen from 31% to 30%.
"While this is only a slight drop, we want to 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.”
Over the last two years, a number of colleges have benefited from Sport England funding, which introduced College Sport Makers.
These are individuals who are responsible for looking at different ways to get students involved in sport and physical activity.
"The introduction of College Sport Makers has been a huge success,” said Atkins.
"They work directly with students to encourage them to take part in sport and physical activity, by finding out why people aren’t taking part in activities, and looking at developing new ways for them to get involved.
Sport England’s Active Colleges research found that around a quarter of students say that a college’s sport offer is a key factor in applying to a college, with over a half stating that being involved in college sport means they attend college more than they would do otherwise .
"Sport in colleges is on the up and these findings begin to demonstrate the impact that Sport England’s Active Colleges investment, supported by AoC Sport, is making,” said Sport England’s Head of Higher & Further Education Katie Mitchell.
"Although there is still a lot of work to do, we look forward to working with AoC Sport to increase participation and engagement, and ensure that all college students have the opportunity to take part in sport.”
AoC Sport itself is the lead membership organisation for college sport, representing, promoting and supporting colleges to increase the numbers of students taking part in sport and physical activity.
AoC Sport was formed following the merger of British Colleges Sport and the Association of Colleges sport policy team, and is supported and part funded by National Lottery investment from Sport England.