Middlesex University students are being urged to give sport another go after the University secured £128,226 of National Lottery funding from Sport England.
The “Give it a Go” project is 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.
“This is a great boost for sport at the university. The investment will enable us to increase the number of sports activities on offer, at a challenging time for higher education,” says Mel Parker, Middlesex University’s Head of Sport and Recreation.
Through the recruitment of eleven student sport champions - who will lead by example and promote the benefits of sport - the “Give it a Go” project will see hundreds of sports sessions delivered to students. There’ll be early morning and lunchtime jogging, weekend cycle rides, and recreational sessions in tag-rugby, netball, cricket and five-a-side football. Students also have the opportunity to gain coaching and officiating qualifications so they can lead activities themselves.
Existing university students helped shape the project through surveys to find out what extra activities they were interested in and what more the University could do to make sport accessible.
“We understand many of the barriers to participation our students are facing and these new programmes will hopefully enhance the experience many of our students have while they are studying with us, as well as cementing their appreciation of the many health and social benefits that sport can bring,” added Mel Parker.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, says this initiative will boost student participation and have a lasting impact on grassroots sport, “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”.
The news was also welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP and Amy Williams, who won Gold in the skeleton at the 2010 Olympics.
Amy says, “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".