Leeds Met receives 150000 pounds to keep students active
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.
The 'Sports USA' project at Leeds Metropolitan University will see activities taking place across five sports - American Football, Basketball, Baseball/Softball, Cheerleading and Lacrosse - in order to increase student participation and develop a lifelong interest in physical activity. The project also aims to increase the student workforce by recruiting student activators and part time coaches, which will help with peer-led delivery, and hopefully create stronger ties with the local community as well.
Sarah Humphreys, Sports Participation Manager at the University, said: "This Lottery funding means we can extend our activity provision to students by providing them with more opportunity to engage with sports they ordinarily wouldn't look at participating in. American-based sports are gaining more and more profile over here in the UK and so by offering them to our students, we are hopefully increasing the amount of interest and engagement in them, both from a playing and coaching perspective."
"We believe our project will improve the health and well-being of our students, raise their interest levels in non-mainstream sports, and provide coaching and employability pathways that will help them with their career."
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 Leeds Metropolitan 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."