Colleges awarded £5m funding boost

We're investing £5 million of National Lottery money into further education colleges to help get students active

21 September 2017 News Funding

We’re going to be funding traditional activities, such as gym and fitness classes, archery, self-defence, and yoga and Pilates, as well as new ways to get students active.

Some of the exciting activities include Raveminton, which involves playing badminton under ultra-violet (UV) lights with fluorescent lines, neon nets and shuttlecocks sprayed with UV paint.

State of play

We know that nearly one in five students at further education colleges in England are currently not active enough.

This means that nearly 138,000 students are doing less than the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each week – which is why we’re funding 49 colleges to help them get students active.

Tag American football, bubble football – where five-a-side football players go up against each while wearing an inflatable orb – and Parkour are just some of the other more non-traditional activities we'll be funding to get students active.

Tackling inactivity

Bexhill College in East Sussex is one of the further education colleges that will receive funding.

The college will offer more opportunities of activities that have proved popular in the past, such as bubble football, plus tai chi classes and timetabled wellbeing sessions that link to employability skills.

Download the full list of colleges

Many colleges will respond to mental health concerns about their students by establishing a mental health referrals system.

Others will also offer a ‘fit for work’ programme to prepare students for the physical demands of the workplace.

Construction industry students will be taught safe lifting techniques and ways to develop their personal strength while inactive health and beauty students, who spend long days on their feet, will be supported to improve their core strength to support their posture.

Investing in further education

We know that students who go to a further education college are typically more inactive than students who attend sixth form in a school or go to university.

Among the reasons why there is a higher proportion of inactive students in further education colleges than sixth form in a school, for example, is because it’s the first time many are not doing compulsory sport.

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 curriculum

Mike Diaper, executive director of children and young people, Sport England

Colleges also educate more students from lower socio-economic groups, as well as more black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and students with a disability. All of these groups are traditionally less likely to be active for a variety of reasons.

Project summaries

We have pulled together summaries for the further education colleges we're investing in.

Download summaries for each college

Mike Diaper, our executive director of community sport, says: “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 curriculum and as a consequence all too many young people become inactive.

“This funding will enable colleges to use innovative ways to embed activity in student’s lifestyles so they can continue to be active for years to come.”

Further information