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Loughborough University receives funding to create more opportunities for students to play sport

Students at Loughborough University will have more chances to play sport thanks to £149,712 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund.

Loughborough is one of 62 universities to benefit from more than £11 million of funding to help support nearly 195,000 new students playing sport.

During the last three years funding from Sport England’s Active Universities has given Loughborough the opportunity to widen recreational sport activities and increase participation rates amongst students through the award winning My Lifestyle programme.

The latest funding award from Sport England will allow expansion of the My Lifestyle programme and enhance the student sport experience, alongside new initiatives including the development of recreational sports leagues.

The funding will also enable the programme to continue to work closely with Loughborough Students’ Union, who through the use of data and behaviour change techniques will be able to provide a unique insight into students’ engagement with sport and exercise.

Dawn Cooper, My Lifestyle Coordinator at Loughborough University, who will be working on the project, said:

“I am delighted that we will continue to be supported by Sport England, to further develop our programme, that is providing sporting opportunities to over 70 per cent of our students who are currently participating at least once a week in sport and physical activity.

“Not only will the funding enable us to deliver more sporting opportunities, it will also ensure we continue to work in partnership with Loughborough Students’ Union and benefit from their expertise in market segmentation and data insight.”

Steffan Lloyd, Vice President for Sport at Loughborough Students’ Union commented:

“This funding allows us to increase provision and improve the quality of the student sport experience.  It also gives us the opportunity to gain a better insight into what motivates students who are currently not engaged in sport, in order to improve our offer and increase participation rates.”

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 Loughborough 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 delivered a 2 per cent rise in the number of students playing sport regularly at the 41 university projects invested in.