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- 29 November 2013 00:00
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Universities are encouraging more students to take up sport thanks to a £15 million National Lottery funding package from Sport England.
The University Sport Activation Fund comes in recognition of the key role that universities play in creating a sporting habit for life amongst students.
There are currently 52% of higher education students taking part in sport at least once a week and the £15 million cash injection will support projects designed to increase this number by trialling new methods of getting students into sport, particularly those that do not currently play any sport.
It will also help tackle the issue of many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.
"Through our previous Active Universities programme we have built up a bank of expertise about how to motivate more students to play sport,” said Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price.
"This extra funding will enable universities to put this knowledge to work.
"We want to see clever, sustainable programmes that will inspire students to develop a lifelong sporting habit.”
Successful projects will build on findings from Sport England’s £8 million three year ‘Active Universities’ programme which tested different methods of engaging students in sport.
Over 102,000 students benefited from the programme - which involved 50 universities - leading to a shift in the number of students taking part in sport.
The most effective projects were those built around direct feedback from students, who wanted a more flexible sports offering, often away from sports halls and at more convenient locations and times.
‘At British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) we are delighted with this announcement and our on-going partnership with Sport England which supports the delivery of their strategy whilst also actively helping us in our vision to enhance the student experience through sport,” said BUCS Chief Executive Karen Rothery.
"This £15 million investment into university sport is a testament to those BUCS member institutions which received funding through Active Universities and have so far substantially over-delivered against their national participation target."
Those interested in applying to the fund can take part in one of four pre-application workshops which will take place in January.
To register for an event, Click Here
Further information will be made available from January 6 when applications to the fund open while applications will close on March 24, 2014.