Lottery boost to get more Bath students playing sport

31 March 2011

Students in Bath are being urged to give sport another go after the University of Bath was awarded more than £113,382 in National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Along with 40 other projects, The 3: Thirty Club 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 3: Thirty Club will take a fresh approach to intramural activity and will be delivered by the Department of Sports Development and the Students’ Union Sports Association. Currently 4,000 students join sports clubs at the university but only 2,000 regularly compete. The 3: Thirty Club will bridge this gap and encourage new participants, in particular first year students, to get involved.

The project will also help students to get involved in organising and running sports at facilities off campus in areas where they live, as well as volunteering to run and officiate sessions in return for professional development. All activities will link into existing student and community clubs, encouraging continued participation.

Greg Sharp, University of Bath Sports Development Manager, said:

”The support from Sport England will allow the University of Bath to make significant enhancements to the student experience, providing a variety of activities in more locations. From the outset of this application, students have been at the core of its creation and will continue to be the core of its planned delivery. They will gauge student demand for activities and use the resources to meet that demand.”

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.”

Today’s announcement was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP and Olympic Gold medalist, Amy Williams.

Hugh Robertson 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.”

Amy Williams, who won Olympic Gold in the skeleton at the 2010 Games, only took up her sport while at the University of Bath, having been a 400m runner at school. She said:

“Going to university is a great chance to try out something new and in my case that something new was the skeleton. Sport is an amazing way to make friends, get fit, have fun and pick up skills that could help you get a job when your student days are over.”

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.”

ENDS
Notes to Editors

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.

University of Bath – The 3: Thirty Club

Daniel O’Toole, Students’ Union President at the University of Bath, said:

“On behalf of all the students I’d like to thank Sport England for allowing us this opportunity to develop recreational sport here. It’s a chance to boost student participation and further strengthen the excellent community spirit on campus as well as providing a range of social and health benefits.”

For more information about University of Bath, The 3: Thirty Club, please contact Steve Ballinger,in the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225)
383518 or 443998 or press@matchtight.co.uk
.
For more information about Active Universities or Sport England, please contact the press office: Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1800.

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