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Kingston College has been given £136,000 funding from Sport England to reduce the number of their students who are completing less than thirty minutes of activity each week.
Sport England’s new Strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’ puts tackling inactivity at the heart of what they do. As part of this initiative Sport England is investing £5 million into projects in colleges that will support their inactive students into regular activity.
Sport England research found:
• Nearly 1/5 (roughly 138,000) college students are inactive i.e. do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week as per England’s Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations. Nearly 2/3 of the inactive group do nothing at all. (i)
• Students who go to college are more inactive than students who go to sixth form or university. (ii)
• Being active can make a big difference to everyone’s health: 1 in 6 adults in the UK die as a result of being inactive.
The Kingston College Tackling Inactivity in Colleges project aims to provide a variety of physical activity opportunities to all students in all departments across the entire College in order to reduce physical inactivity levels. The project will promote the health and mental wellbeing benefits associated with taking part in regular physical activity and encourage better mental health across our student population.
We will have targeted sessions to specifically encourage commonly inactive groups to be more active, for example we will be offering female only sessions and provide reduced gym memberships in order to encourage females to be more active whilst at College by removing common barriers that prevent females from being active.
We will also be promoting the mental health benefits through physical activity via our ESCAPE project where we can specifically target students who are identified as having any symptoms of mental health. We will provide support, motivation and free opportunities to take part in activity sessions as well as gym memberships; we will monitor attendance and reward regular activity with treat trips, water bottles and t-shirts.
A huge thank you to Sport England and the National Lottery for this funding that will make a huge difference to our student’s health and wellbeing whilst at Kingston College.
Around one in five college students are inactive and many come from groups that have lower socio-economic status or from ethnic groups that are less likely to be active. Colleges in the programme will target these groups specifically to reduce the activity gap between them and their student peers.
Mike Diaper, Executive Director of Community Sport said: “We are delighted to offer Kingston College National Lottery funding 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 study programme and therefore all too many young people become inactive. This funding will allow colleges to be innovative in addressing the needs and desires of their students to help embed activity in their lifestyle in college and for years to come.”
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests more than £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
i Sport England’s Active Lives survey (November 2015/2016) found that nearly 1/5 (18%) of 16-18 year old college students are inactive, and out of this inactive group, just under 2/3 (64%) do nothing at all. There are currently 744,000 college students in England aged 16-18 according to the Association of Colleges 2016. 138,000 (18%) of them are currently inactive i.e. do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week. Of those who are inactive, 86,000 (64%) do nothing at all.
ii Sport England’s Active Lives survey (November 2015/2016) found that 13% of 16+ year olds in school sixth form were inactive. 12% of 16+ year olds in higher education were inactive and 20% of 16+ year olds in colleges are inactive.