Universities in England get £10m lottery cash for sport

Amy Williams competing in the women's skeleton
Image caption Olympic Gold medal winner Amy Williams took up her sport while at university

A total of 41 projects are to benefit from a £10m lottery fund to get more university students playing sport, it has been announced.

Sport England said the Active Universities projects were part of the "mass participation legacy" of the London 2012 Games.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said it would encourage students to continue playing sport following their studies.

The University of Hertfordshire was awarded the highest amount of £359,579.

The university will use the money to get its students and those at the Royal Veterinary College and local colleges involved in a range of sports.

Sport England said the Active Universities scheme would give tens of thousands of students the chance to try out a new sport or get back into an old one.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: "Young adults who are still playing sport when they leave university are likely to stick with it for life, so this is a good investment in the future.

"These projects have been chosen because they really listened to what students wanted, so we are confident they will succeed in increasing participation."

Amy Williams, who won an Olympic Gold medal in the women's skeleton, is among those who welcome the funding.

Ms Williams was a 400m runner at school and took up her Olympic sport while at Bath University.

She said: "Going to university is a great chance to try out something new and in my case that something new was the skeleton.

"Sport is an amazing way to make friends, get fit, have fun and pick up skills that could help you get a job when your student days are over."

Conservative MP Mr Robertson added: "This funding for 41 different sport projects across the country is exactly what our Olympic legacy promise is about - offering more opportunities for people to get involved."

The funds have been awarded to projects across England and cover a wide range of sports.

The projects include:

  • A multi-sport project at Birmingham University will receive £65,275. The scheme, which aims to increase sports participation at the university by 15%, will include Run in Brum and Swim Buddies sessions.
  • The English Lacrosse Association will receive £300,000 in a bid to get an extra 6,000 students playing lacrosse.
  • The University of Brighton secured £182,602 for its Project Active 8 which will use loyalty cards to reward students attending sports sessions. It covers eight sports, including netball, squash and table tennis.
  • Students at the University of East London, which is near Olympic Park, are benefiting from £245,789 for the Try a Sport 365 project. It will mean students can try taster sessions in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
  • A joint project at Staffordshire University and Keele University will get £107,313. Hundreds of volunteers will be trained up to get 2,000 students involved in a wide range of sports.
  • Northumbria University will get £305,799 to offer students six-week taster courses in 12 sports and put them in touch with local clubs.
  • Newcastle University is to receive £124,596 in a bid to increase students' participation in sport. Fewer than half of the university's 19,000 students are currently involved in sport.

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