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UCLan Students’ Union wins £97,000 to get more students active

23 June 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Sport England backs UCLan

Students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will have more chances to play sport thanks to £97,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund.

The University is one of 54 universities to benefit from nearly £10 million of funding to help get nearly 180,000 new students playing sport. UCLan Students’ Union (SU) is also one of six unions to achieve this funding, taking it one step closer to becoming the top Students’ Union in the country.

The Get in2 project will build upon the strong foundations that have been laid through the university’s successful Sport 4 U project, as well as the current work through the SU and UCLan Sports Facilities.

The UCLan SU has a project budget of £147,237 over three years which will be used to create more sporting opportunities by offering new ‘pop up’ sessions around campus and within halls of residence to help overcome the different barriers to participation that students face.

“With the support of the Get In2 initiative we will be able to provide new and exciting projects that should see student involvement in physical activity increase rapidly.”

The program will deliver a diverse, accessible and affordable sporting programme for all students to get involved, whether undergraduate, postgraduate or studying part-time, as well as offering opportunities for students to volunteer alongside the program. The SU has also teamed up with Preston City Council’s sport and health development team as part of its bid to provide swimming opportunities at an affordable price through the program at both Fulwood and Westview Leisure Centres.

Sam Bloomfield, the UCLan SU Activities and Participation Officer said: “I am delighted that we have received funding from Sport England’s University Activation fund for our Get In2 program.

“We as a Students' Union are always looking for ways to improve the student experience. “With the support of the Get In2 initiative we will be able to provide new and exciting projects that should see student involvement in physical activity increase rapidly.”

“Whether by fun, one off sessions or regular semi-competitive sessions, there will be something for everyone. This funding will really enable Sport and Activities at UCLan Students’ Union to go far beyond where they have in the past.”

Currently just over half (52 per cent) 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 during their time at university.

“We know universities play a vital role in maintaining and growing a student’s love of sport. They can encourage them to continue playing once they’ve left school or help those less sporty discover a new sport.”

The projects will particularly concentrate on those that do not currently play. It will also help tackle the issue of many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.

Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “We know universities play a vital role in maintaining and growing a student’s love of sport. They can encourage them to continue playing once they’ve left school or help those less sporty discover a new sport. By investing in UCLan Students’ Union we’re helping students develop a lifelong sporting habit while they study.”

Karen Rothery, Chief Executive of British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), said: “Universities have really risen to the challenge to increase sport participation, firstly through Active Universities, and now through the University Sport Activation Fund.” 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.”

The latest funding for university sport builds on Sport England’s highly successful three year ‘Active Universities’ programme which delivering a two per cent rise in the number of students playing sport regularly at the 41 university projects we invested in.