Students at the University of Derby will have more chances to play sport thanks to £140,684 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund.
Derby is one of 54 universities to benefit from nearly £10 million of funding to help get nearly 180,000 new students playing sport.
Derby will revamp its sporting activities after consulting with students on what would make them play more sport. The University will increase participation and create sustainable sports pathways by creating a programme of sports activities designed to give greater flexibility to students to choose the best method of participation for them, dependant on their available time, ability and affordability.
These additions will support the already established pathway that was supported by the previous Sport England funding programme, Active Universities. The project will increase the number of sports available in the form of Give it a Go (multi sport sessions where students can try a new sport), Pay as you Play (which requires no long term commitment) and Intra Mural Sport sessions which are organised competitions amongst students.
Research has provided the sports department at Derby with a clear indication of what barriers are currently preventing students from participating in sport. Cost and availability of sport were the two main issues raised and the new UDo-It programme will address both issues by creating an affordable and accessible programme of activities targeting all Derby students.
Ollie Shearer, Sport Development Manager at the University of Derby, said: “This Lottery funding means we can further expand our sporting offer to provide an inclusive programme for all our students. Having committed £10.8million to our new sports centre this funding will ensures we can develop the largest, most accessible and most inclusive sports programme we have ever had at the University”.
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. 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 Derby University 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 2 per cent rise in the number of students playing sport regularly at the 41 university projects it invested in.
University of Derby Contact Detail:
Address: Kedleston Old Rd, Derby DE22 1GB, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1332 590500