Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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2 November 2012 | PR 12/191

Loughborough students becoming more active thanks to Lottery funding

Beach Park

More students at Loughborough University are taking part in sport thanks to Lottery funding.

Sport England is investing over £8 million of National Lottery funding over three years through the Active Universities programme to get more students playing sport.

It is part of the work to tackle the issue of drop-off in sports participation that sees many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.

Recognising the strong tradition of high-level competitive sport within universities, Active Universities projects have been focusing on the need for more informal and social sporting opportunities.

At Loughborough the lottery funding has allowed the My Lifestyle campaign to develop a programme of recreational sporting activities including no strings badminton, cardio tennis, rush hockey, ultimate frisbee, and back to netball.

My Lifestyle has been underpinned by a successful social media campaign promoting the activities, but also by asking students what they thought of sport at the University.

In the first year of funding the My Lifestyle programme has seen 881 students become regularly involved in sporting activity.

Through the provision of running recreational touch rugby sessions, students have set up a touch rugby society for this academic year. They have so far recruited 36 members who are playing touch rugby three times a week.

This increase in participation is further identified in the Higher Education, Sport Participation and Satisfaction Survey, produced for Sport England.

Results from the survey show that 48% of Loughborough students play sport at least three times a week, 59% at least twice and 71% at least once.

The survey also states that 43% of Loughborough students identify sporting opportunities as a ‘very important’ reason for their choice of University against a national average of 22%.

Tim Garfield Deputy Director of Sport at Loughborough University said:

“Loughborough has a long tradition of sporting excellence.  However the Active Universities funding has been critical for us to develop a programme of activity for those students that want to take part in less competitive recreational sport.

“The fact that we have hit our first year target to increase the numbers participating in sport is very satisfying. My Lifestyle is about providing appropriate opportunities for the relatively small number of inactive students we have at Loughborough.

“We have set ourselves the very ambitious target of having 75% of our students participating regularly which fits with our ambition to be a world leading university for sport.

“We are grateful to Sport England for the funding which has given us the chance to develop the programme, but also for providing us with robust data from the survey that will allow us to measure our progress in this key area of our sporting development.”

More information about Active Universities and the Higher Education, Sport Participation and Satisfaction Survey can be found on the Sport England website.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@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 Best Student Experience in England 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 13 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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