Sport England
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£5.8 million to boost college sport

Further education and sixth form colleges across England are invited to bid for a share of £5.8 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s Further Education Activation Fund.

This fund aims to boost the number of students taking part in sport by supporting colleges to design and develop projects tailored to the sporting needs of their students.

Sport England’s Active People Survey shows that college students play the least sport of students aged 16 and over. Almost two thirds of school pupils aged 16 and over do sport at least once a week, compared to 52 per cent of higher education students and 50 per cent of further education students.

Minister for Sport, Helen Grant said:  “We want people to develop a sporting habit for life. 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. It encourages innovative thinking and projects to help keep young people playing sport and bring others back participating.”

Mike Diaper, Director of Community Sport at Sport England, said “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. This fund will help colleges provide practical, innovative, affordable and attractive sporting opportunities that fit in with their busy lifestyles.”

Today’s announcement is the second round of funding from the £8m Further Education Activation Fund. Previously benefitting from this fund is 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.

Linda Sinclair, Principal said: “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. 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. We are delighted by the popularity of ‘Give it a Go’ with our students whose attitude to sport has changed since taking part in the programme.”

The funding is part of Sport England’s five-year £1 billion Youth and Community Strategy which is helping more people than ever to get involved in sport. There are 15.5 million people playing sport every week, 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.

Find out more about the fund.