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30 November 2011 | PR 11/152

Loughborough to help deliver physical activity legacy for London 2012 Paralympic Games thanks to The Coca-Cola Foundation



Loughborough University has received almost £300,000 to use the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a platform to increase physical activity rates amongst young adults with a disability, as well develop sporting excellence towards 2016.

The Coca-Cola Active Healthy Living Grant, which was awarded to the Loughborough University Development Trust, will be accessed by researchers in the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport (part of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences) to explore the pathways to encourage people to become ‘fit for life, fit for sport and fit for success’.

The three-year project will see a team of Loughborough’s  academics, led by Dr Vicky Tolfrey in conjunction with Dr Brett Smith, work alongside organisations including ParalympicsGB to develop online and printed resources and an educational toolkit to cover all tiers of the sporting spectrum from rehabilitation to elite performance.

Experts will also conduct a series of interviews to collect personal case studies and gain an understanding of the barriers to participating in sport and physical activity.

In addition, an immunology focused research strand led by Dr Lettie Bishop will develop research-based arguments for physical activity’s role in improving health and wellbeing amongst people with a disability.

Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport Dr Vicky Tolfrey explains: 

“Recent Sport England figures indicate just 6.1% of Britain’s 10 million people with a physical disability are regularly active in sport compared with 18.5% of the able bodied population. This funding will enable us to use the power of the London 2012 Paralympic Games to drive participation at every level and to explain the benefits of an active lifestyle to people living with a disability. 
“By developing an extensive set of resources and case studies we also hope to increase awareness of the benefits of, and opportunities for, physical activity amongst health professionals, carers and disability organisations.

“Our continued work with ParalympicsGB will ensure Loughborough plays a part in encouraging sports participation at all levels, as well as developing and supporting Britain’s elite athletes.”  
The project will get underway in January 2012 and run until December 2014.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday November 30, 2011 10:42