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- 25 June 2014 00:00
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University students will have more opportunities to get into sport following a new £10 million cash injection from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund.
The £10 million will be shared by 54 universities across England in a move designed to get nearly 180,000 new students playing sport regularly.
"We know universities play a vital role in maintaining and growing a student’s love of sport,” said Sport England Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper.
"They can encourage them to continue playing once they’ve left school or help those less sporty discover a new sport.
"By investing in the 54 universities we’re helping students develop a lifelong sporting habit while they study.”
There are currently just over half (52%) of higher education students take part in sport at least once a week.
The funding will support projects to not only maintain this level of participation but also increase it by trialling new methods of getting students into sport and offering a wider variety of opportunities to keep them playing sport at university.
The projects will particularly concentrate on those that do not currently play and also help tackle the issue of many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.
"Universities have really risen to the challenge to increase sport participation, firstly through Active Universities, and now through the University Sport Activation Fund,” said British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) CEO Karen Rothery.
"We at BUCS are delighted that our work with Sport England over the past five years has resulted in such a success story, and are confident that we will continue to enhance the student experience through sport in many creative ways throughout the life of the University Sport Activation Fund delivery.”
Universities receiving funding include The University of Sunderland, who have been awarded £163,260 for their Urban Active programme that will offer fun, social and engaging sport on and off campus.
Another is King’s College London, who have been allocated £242,853 for their Be Active programme to increase the number and variety of sport on offer.
The latest funding for university sport builds on Sport England’s successful three year ‘Active Universities’ programme, is delivering a 2% rise in the number of students playing sport regularly at the 41 university projects they invested in.