Tens of thousands of young women and men at college can look forward to improved sporting opportunities thanks to new National Lottery funding from Sport England.
£17 million of investment will fund 150 new jobs for full-time sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers over the next five years, helping students to get involved in sport.
Colleges across the country were today given the go-ahead to recruit the first 117 sports professionals after successfully bidding for support from Sport England.
The announcement was welcomed by Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who said: “Following the success and enthusiasm generated by the summer, I am determined to keep up the momentum of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and get more people playing sport. Raising participation levels among young people is absolutely crucial. This £20 million investment from the National Lottery will help do exactly that, getting more students in colleges up and down the country involved in sport. It will also create 150 new jobs, and these 'College Sport Makers' will make a real difference in helping young people develop a sporting habit for life."
Richard Lewis, Chair of Sport England, said: “Too many teenagers drop out of sport when they leave school, as it gets squeezed by competing demands like studying, work and relationships. We want College Sport Makers to remind young people how much fun sport is and to help them build it into their schedules so they develop a sporting habit for life.”
College Sport Makers will help individual sports to market their opportunities to students as well as linking colleges with community sports clubs, running leagues and sports groups and offering coaching for certain sports. Every College Sport Maker will be expected to help hundreds of students to make sport a bigger part of their lives.
The investment is part of Sport England’s five-year £1 billion Youth and Community Strategy that aims to continue the growth in sports participation that has seen the number of people playing sport every week reach 15.28 million, an increase of 1.3 million since 2005/6.