FYLDE coast students will benefit from a £1.8m cash injection aimed at encouraging more of them to take up sport.
Blackpool Sixth Form College and Myerscough College have both got the go-ahead to appoint ‘sport makers’ whose job will be to encourage students to get active.
Currently only half of all college students take part in sport –compared to 65 per cent of school pupils.
The £1.8m National Lottery funding from Sport England will fund 18 sport makers in 21 colleges across the North West.
It is not yet known exactly how much each college will receive, but it is expected to be around the £100,000 mark.
The posts will run for five years, starting in January.
Felicity Greeves, principal of Blackpool Sixth Form College, said: “The funding from Sport England, which will pay for an additional full-time member of staff as a college sport maker for five years, aims to further increase our students’ involvement in sport.
“We are pleased this has coincided with a growth in students undertaking sport courses, the recruitment of the apprentices of two Football League clubs and more than £500,000 of redevelopment to our sporting facilities.”
Chris Pinkett, head of sport at Myerscough College in Bilsborrow, said: “As a specialist sports college, increasing participation in sport for those not on a dedicated course has always been a top priority.
“Myerscough College fully supports the £1.8m investment by Sport England to encourage students and young people into playing sport.
“To capitalise on the spirit of London 2012, and create a lasting legacy, the concept of a sport maker in colleges, whose job will be solely to encourage participation and drive access to sport, is a fantastic idea and one Myerscough College supports and fully embraces.
“We hope to recruit our own sport maker in 2013 and feel confident the funding will increase participation in sport, both while young people are students at college and when they leave and enter university or employment.”
The investment is part of Sport England’s five-year £1bn Youth and Community Strategy that aims to continue the growth in sports participation
Chairman of Sport England Richard Lewis said: “Too many teenagers drop out of sport when they leave school, as it gets squeezed by competing demands like studying, work and relationships.
“We want college sport makers to remind young people how much fun sport is and to help them build it into their schedules so they develop a sporting habit for life.”