Colleges awarded ‘Tackling Inactivity’ funding by Sport England

Sport England has announced a £5million funding injection into the college sector, as part of the Tackling Inactivity in Colleges (TIIC) programme.

AoC Sport is delighted that this investment is impacting colleges across England.

The funding, which spans the next two years, will enable 49 colleges to implement projects with the aim of giving more college students the opportunity and incentive to become active.

Research from Sport England found:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 (roughly 138,000) FE 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 two thirds of the inactive group do nothing at all.
  • Students who go to an FE college are typically more inactive than students who attend sixth form in a school or go to university.
  • 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.

AoC Sport’s vision to get ‘every student active’ supports Sport England and their strategy, ‘Towards an Active Nation’, in their aim to increase participation among college students, and we will be supporting the TIIC-funded colleges as they implement their projects.

AoC Sport managing director, Marcus Kingwell, said: “As the lead organisation for college sport and physical activity, we feel we are in a strong position at AoC Sport to drive this initiative forward and offer support and guidance to the TIIC-funded colleges.

“A key focus of our own strategy is for every student to participate regularly in sport or physical activity, and so our own aims and ambitions fall perfectly in line with Sport England’s Tackling Inactivity in Colleges programme.”

There are currently 2.9 million college students in England and of these, 300,000 aged 16-19 are currently inactive. Among the reasons why FE colleges have a higher proportion of inactive students is that for the first time many of them will be in an environment where sport is not compulsory. 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. These are less likely to be active, something which the funding will help to address.

The aim of this new TIIC programme is to provide workforce funding to support colleges who are committed to reducing the number of physically inactive college students.

The 49 colleges have designed their inactivity programmes to deliver wider outcomes such as improved leadership and confidence skills, and mental wellbeing. Alongside traditional activities such as gym and fitness classes, archery, yoga and Pilates, and self-defence, colleges will use innovative ways to engage students, including the provision of non-traditional activities such as Bubble Football, ‘Raveminton’, Tag American football and Parkour.

Some will offer a Fit for Work Programme to prepare students for the physical demands of the workplace. Construction industry students, for example, will be taught safe lifting techniques and ways to develop their personal strength. Inactive Health and Beauty students, who spend long days on their feet, will be supported to improve their core strength to support their posture.

Many colleges will respond to mental health concerns about their students by establishing a Mental Health Referrals system. They will identify students who may have mental and/or physical health challenges and create an individual physical engagement programme to help address challenges within their lives.

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Executive Director of Community Sport said: “We are delighted to offer National Lottery funding to 49 colleges across England 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 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.”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “I want to use sport and physical activity to help improve the lives of young people, which is what this £5 million fund is all about. By targeting inactive people at further education colleges, where students can drop away from playing regular sport. This investment can make a real difference. Not only will it help improve their physical and mental health, it can also help get them ready for the challenge of university or the workplace and importantly instil a love of sport that can last for life.”

Congratulations to the following colleges who have been awarded funding:

  • Barnet and Southgate College
  • Bedford College
  • Bexhill College
  • Blackburn College
  • Bridge College
  • Bridgwater And Taunton College
  • Burnley College
  • Bury College
  • Calderdale College
  • Cardinal Newman College
  • Carmel College
  • Chesterfield College
  • Cirencester College
  • City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College
  • Derby College
  • Doncaster College
  • East Durham College
  • Easton & Otley College
  • Furness College
  • Grantham College
  • Halesowen College
  • Hereford Sixth Form College
  • Hertford Regional College
  • Joseph Chamberlain College
  • Kingston College
  • Lancaster & Morecambe College
  • Middlesbrough College
  • Nelson and Colne College
  • Newham Sixth Form College
  • Newham College of Further Education
  • North Lindsey College
  • Oaklands College
  • Oldham College
  • Riverside College/Cronton Sixth Form College
  • RNN Group
  • Runshaw College
  • Sir George Monoux College
  • Solihull College
  • South Tyneside College
  • St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College
  • Suffolk New College
  • Tameside College
  • Trafford College
  • Truro and Penwith College
  • Tyne Metropolitan College
  • Wakefield College
  • Wigan And Leigh College
  • Wiltshire College
  • Woodhouse College