Students celebrate sports funding boost

Students at Sheffield Hallam University will have more chances to play sport thanks to new National Lottery funding

The University is one of 54 universities to benefit from nearly £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund to help get nearly 180,000 new students playing sport.

The Sport Activation projects will particularly concentrate on those that do not currently play, and will help tackle the issue of many young people giving up sport in their late teens and early twenties.

Sheffield Hallam’s Sport Activation project will target first and second-year undergraduate students who are not involved in sport clubs and societies, by encouraging them to play casual sports.

Head of sport services at Sheffield Hallam, Dan Porter, said: ‘Because we have such a successful programme of sports at Sheffield Hallam, we’re aiming for the harder to reach students who drop out of sport early on in their studies. In particular, female students generally participate in less physical activity at university, and play less sport than male students.

‘But rather than telling people to play more sport, at set times determined by us, we’ll be working with them to organise local activities at times that suit them.’

Sport activators at Sheffield Hallam will be trained in motivational interviewing techniques, which it’s hoped will help them get 4,650 new students playing sport over the next three years.

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 Sheffield Hallam University we’re helping students develop a lifelong sporting habit while they study.

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