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Sport England aim to tackle student inactivity with £5million investment

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Sport England has today announced £5 million worth of investments into 49 further education colleges in a bid to tackle student inactivity.

Further education (FE) colleges will receive funding for the provision of non-traditional sporting activities; such as Bubble Football, Tag American football and Parkour, in a strategy to get more youngsters completing a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per week.

Certain colleges will also offer a ‘Fit for Work Programme’, a scheme which will encourage students to prepare for the demands of physical workplace scenarios.

The move comes after statistics show that nearly 1 in 5 FE college students do not partake in a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per week, with two-thirds of that group doing no exercise at all.

The loss of compulsory sports programmes for youngsters at almost all FE colleges has partly been blamed for the drop in physical activity.

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director of Community Sport, said: “We are delighted to offer National Lottery funding to 49 colleges across England to help get students active.

“College is a crucial time in a young person’s development. It is often the first time that activity is not a compulsory part of their curriculum and, as a consequence, all too many young people become inactive.  

“This funding will enable colleges to use innovative ways to embed activity in student’s lifestyles so they can continue to be active for years to come.”

Kingston College in London - which has been selected for funding - is planning to target health and beauty students via a series of pilates classes to improve posture while on the job.

Meanwhile, Bexhill College in East Sussex will focus on increased availability of engaging sports, as well as offering mental wellbeing classes such as yoga.

Roughly 1 in 6 UK adults die because of being inactive, with studies suggesting that regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and symptoms of depression.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “Not only will it help improve their physical and mental health, it can also help get them ready for the challenge of university or the workplace and importantly instil a love of sport that can last for life.”

Image Credit - Pixabay. Sport England

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