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Published 21st Sep 2017

Middlesbrough College students enjoy a game of football at the college's Middlehaven campus

Middlesbrough College has been given £136,000 funding from Sport England to reduce the number of their students who are completing less than thirty minutes of activity each week.

Sport England’s new Strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’ puts tackling inactivity at the heart of what they do.  As part of this initiative Sport England is investing £5 million into projects in colleges that will support their inactive students into regular activity.

Middlesbrough College is in an excellent position to support the initiative with its high quality sports facilities and staff dedicated to student wellbeing.

Sport England research found:

  • Nearly 1/5 (roughly 138,000) 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 2/3 of the inactive group do nothing at all
  • Students who go to college are more inactive than students who go to sixth form or 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.

The money will be used by the college to provide a physical activity and enrichment offer that will support students to get back in to sport, to get more active and to promote health and wellbeing. The ‘Live Well Learn Well Project’ will provide students with the opportunity to participate across the college and within the local community. A timetabled sport programme will be available to students throughout the week, offering a variety of sports. To do this, the project will work with a number of sporting organisations and governing bodies to ensure students at Middlesbrough get a great college experience.  

James Hartley, Project Lead for the Live Well Learn Well Project, said: “The project will be great as we will promote that you don’t have to be ‘sporty’ to get involved, and it will be open and available to all students.

"Getting active and involved in physical activity is great, as it has so many other benefits for our students. Whilst it will support their physical and mental wellbeing, sport can aid improved academic performance, improved attendance at college, improved social interaction and peer relationships."

Around one in five college students are inactive and many come from groups that have lower socio-economic status or from ethnic groups that are less likely to be active. Colleges in the programme will target these groups specifically to reduce the activity gap between them and their student peers.

Mike Diaper, executive director of Community Sport said: “We are delighted to offer Middlesbrough College National Lottery funding 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 study programme and therefore all too many young people become inactive. This funding will allow colleges to be innovative in addressing the needs and desires of their students to help embed activity in their lifestyle in college and for years to come.”

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “At Middlesbrough College we’re ambitious for our students. Setting them up to excel in work, further study or training means looking after their physical and mental wellbeing as well as their academic or vocational achievements.

“We’re pleased to join in this Sport England initiative which we know will have a positive impact on the lives of our students.”

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