Students at Royal Holloway, University of London are being urged to give sport another go after receiving £85,486 in National Lottery funding from Sport England.
Along with 40 other projects, RHULSPORT-Beactive is being backed by Sport England’s £10 million Active Universities fund to get more university students playing sport, as part of the mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The RHULSPORT-Beactive project will offer social and structured sport, through three types of session – Dance Sport, Drop in Sport and Football Fives. Dance Sport and Drop in Sport will take place on campus, while students taking part in Football Fives will be provided free transport to local playing fields. This aims to overcome the barrier that prevents many students from doing sport.
Royal Holloway Principal, Professor Paul Layzell, said:“Sport is an integral part of many students’ lives already and thanks to this additional funding, we will be able to encourage more students back into sport through RHULSPORT – Beactive. The project will offer students the opportunity not only to stay active through sport but also to develop important skills that will enhance their employability. Through this extra curricular activity, students will be able to develop skills outside the lecture theatre such as communicating, team-working and managing people.”
The Active Universities projects will give tens of thousands of students across the country the chance to try out a new sport, or get back into one they’ve tried before. Boosting student participation will have a lasting impact on grassroots sport because research shows that students who do play sport at university are far more likely to continue participating throughout their lives. It will also help tackle the issue of drop-off in sports participation that sees many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “Young adults who are still playing sport when they leave university are likely to stick with it for life, so this is a good investment in the future. These projects have been chosen because they really listened to what students wanted, so we are confident they will succeed in increasing participation.”
Recognising the strong tradition of competitive sport within universities, Active Universities projects will meet the need for more informal and social sporting opportunities. The projects were chosen through a competitive process.
Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, Ed Smith, said: “This represents a great outcome for Higher Education and a fabulous opportunity to increase the depth and breadth of participation by young people whilst they benefit from academic studies and the overall student experience at university. The link between sport and life skills is evident from the way employers seek out people who are active in sport and this will be a boost as graduates make their way into the job market.”