Students from The University of Nottingham are amongst those being urged to give sport another go after the Nu2sport project secured £247,600 in National Lottery funding.
The project is one of 40 schemes across the country to receive backing under Sport England's £10 million Active Universities fund, which aims to get more students playing sport as a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Over 3,000 students and staff are set to benefit from the initiative, which will be run jointly by The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Sport Nottinghamshire.
An additional 48 coaches and 150 student volunteers are also to be recruited to help deliver entry level activities across 11 sports, including football, rugby union, judo and swimming.
Dan Tilley, Director of Physical Recreation and Sport at The University of Nottingham, revealed that he was delighted to have secured funding for a project which fits in with the sports for all ethos that his department promotes.
He said: “Aside from the ability to address the issues of inactivity and engagement amongst our students, one of the most exciting elements is the partnership between the two universities and Sport Nottinghamshire.
“The funding will allow us to deliver a much more flexible, inclusive and comprehensive project. We are grateful to Sport England for their support and funding, and to BUCS who have been central to securing this funding.”
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.”
The announcement was also welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, who said: “This funding for 41 different sport projects across the country is exactly what our Olympic legacy promise is about — offering more opportunities for people to get involved. This will boost university sport and encourage students to continue playing once their studies are over.”
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Notes to Editors: With 75 Athletic Union sports clubs, Nottingham teams have consistently finished in the top 10 out of over 140 institutions competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) overall league championship table over the last 15 years.
The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news
Sport England is focused on the delivery of a mass participation legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We invest National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.
For more information about Active Universities or Sport England, please contact: Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1800.
A number of surveys were done to highlight the barriers to participation and to assess what would encourage more students to become active. The key results were as follows:
- Reasons for those NOT currently participating in sport: 58 per cent cost; 38 per cent no idea what’s available; 28 per cent no interest; 20 per cent inaccessible facilities; 14 per cent no equipment.
- Key barriers preventing increased levels of participation: 74 per cent lack of time; 53 per cent lack of money; 28 per cent lack of opportunity; 13 per cent poor facilities; 11 per cent lack of interest; 5 per cent poor social element; 3 per cent poor coaching.
To address these barriers, the project will focus on the following key areas:
- Cost — sessions are only £1 with a NU2Sport voucher. The vouchers will be available online to make them accessible
- Location — all sessions are available to all UoN and NTU students, irrespective of the venue
- Quality — each session will be coach led to ensure quality, with equipment provided
- Accessibility — sessions will be made welcoming to any student, whether they are:
o a complete beginner in the activity or have played before
o disabled or non-disabled
o male or female
o a home or international student.
Time — the majority of sessions will last for a maximum of an hour, enabling students to attend between lectures and other commitments; sessions will also be repeated at different times each week to allow for scheduling clashes for a preferred activity to be overcome
Motivation — the motivation of participants to become involved and continue to attend sessions / exit route opportunities will be maximised by:
o Strong marketing, including through Facebook and other social media
o “Buddying” and similar initiatives
o Collection of personal data to facilitate targeted direct contact with individuals that have attended at least one session
o Festivals at the end of a course to bring together all participants from both universities and secure participant engagement with exit routes.