Uxbridge College students showing their tennis skills.Hundreds of young women and men at colleges in London, including Uxbridge College, can look forward to improved sporting opportunities thanks to new National Lottery funding from Sport England.£1.9m of investment will fund 16 new jobs for full-time sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers over the next five years, helping students to
Hundreds of young women and men at colleges in London, including Uxbridge College, can look forward to improved sporting opportunities thanks to new National Lottery funding from Sport England.
£1.9m of investment will fund 16 new jobs for full-time sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers over the next five years, helping students to get involved in sport.
Uxbridge College is one of 18 colleges in the region given the go-ahead to recruit 16 sports professionals after successfully bidding for support from Sport England.
A sports professional known as a ‘Sport Maker’ is due to be in post around the end of the year tasked with getting more students from Uxbridge College and West Thames College to take part in activities. As well as getting more students into sport at college, their work will also include linking in to local sports organisations and clubs, many of which supported the bid.
Gavin Hughes, Director of Student Services at Uxbridge College, and Bernadette Joslin, Student Services Manager at West Thames College said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a College Sport Maker through Sport England. The timing of this new role coming just after such a successful Olympics is perfect to capture the enthusiasm of our students. We have a number of great links with local clubs and organisations that are keen to get involved with our students and this role will be perfect to co-ordinate all this activity, and ultimately increase the health and well-being of our students.”
The announcement was welcomed by Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who said: “Following the success and enthusiasm generated by the summer, I am determined to keep up the momentum of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and get more people playing sport. Raising participation levels among young people is absolutely crucial. This investment from the National Lottery will help do exactly that, getting more students in colleges up and down the country involved in sport. It will also create 150 new jobs, and these 'College Sport Makers' will make a real difference in helping young people develop a sporting habit for life."
Richard Lewis, Chair of Sport England, said: “Too many teenagers drop out of sport when they leave school, as it gets squeezed by competing demands like studying, work and relationships. We want College Sport Makers to remind young people how much fun sport is and to help them build it into their schedules so they develop a sporting habit for life.”
The Association of Colleges’ Head of Sport Policy, Clare Howard, said: “There has always been a strong tradition of sport in colleges but this new funding brings much needed extra capacity. This will allow us to really build on the momentum created by London 2012 and provide new, and different sporting opportunities for a greater number of college students.
“We are delighted about the funding from Sport England to create new sports development posts in colleges and hopefully inspire a new generation of athletes.”
College Sport Makers will help individual sports to market their opportunities to students as well as linking colleges with community sports clubs, running leagues and sports groups and offering coaching for certain sports. Every College Sport Maker will be expected to help hundreds of students to make sport a bigger part of their lives.
The investment is part of Sport England’s five-year £1 billion Youth and Community Strategy that aims to continue the growth in sports participation that has seen the number of people playing sport every week reach 15.28 million, an increase of 1.3 million since 2005/6.