Universities across the UK gain £10m of Sport England funding

University sport

54 universities across the country will receive a share of £10 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund, giving nearly 180,000 new students the opportunity to play sport regularly.

Currently, only 52% of higher education students participate in sporting activity at least once a week. The new funding will ensure that projects get the funding to increase this level of participation, by offering a wider range of opportunities and trialling new methods of getting students into sport.

Commenting on the funding, Karen Rothery of British Universities & Colleges Sport said “Universities have really risen to the challenge to increase sport participation, firstly through Active Universities, and now through the University Sport Activation Fund. We at BUCS are delighted that our work with Sport England over the past five years has resulted in such a success story, and are confident that we will continue to enhance the student experience through sport in many creative ways throughout the life of the University Sport Activation Fund delivery.”

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Youth Sport Trust launches school sport survey

Cross country runners

The Youth Sport Trust has launched a new survey into PE and school sport after concerns were raised that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ of provision.

The survey will be the first since 2010, and hopes to fill the void of information on the provision of sport, activity levels of pupils, and current trends in physical education, activity and school sport.

The Youth Sport Trust survey will aim to identify differences in provision across the UK and will give schools the opportunity to compare their performance with others.

Schools will have received their survey in the last week of June.

John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust comments on the reasoning behind the survey, “we do have significant concerns that the level of provision across the country is not consistent, which could be resulting in a postcode lottery of provision. Our survey will investigate this as it risks leaving some young people without the high-quality experience they deserve.

“It is crucial that we play a key role in improving physical activity rates amongst young people and there couldn’t be a more important time for us to investigate the current levels of PE and sport in schools.”

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Ofsted report criticises state school provision of competitive sport

Competitive Sports

An Ofsted report, ‘Going the extra mile: Excellence in competitive school sport’, has raised concerns over the provision of competitive sport in state schools.

The report was commissioned following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and aimed to discover why the majority of Team GB athletes were educated in private schools.

The report, which includes data collected from over 500 head teachers and 1,000 11-18 year olds, discovered that the majority of state school heads felt that competitive sport was optional, with only 13% stating that all children were expected to take part.

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Call for examples of good practice in increasing physical activity

Public Health England has issued a call for examples of good and promising practice on increasing physical activity in local communities, in order to inform the National Physical Activity Implementation Framework.

Kids playing footballWorking for Public Health England, the ukactive Research Institute and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine are searching for projects and programmes that have positively impacted on the increase in levels of physical activity in local communities.

The review will prove an insight into what works when trying to get people more active, and so an open to call to all organisations, groups and individuals working to increase physical activity has been issued.

If you think your sports group or club could be a good example, evidence must be submitted before 5pm on Friday 18th July.

For more information contact StevenMann@ukactive.org.uk or visit the Sport and Recreation Alliance website.

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PE shake-up to challenge under 11′s

PE Lesson

Specialist PE teachers are to be sent into primary schools across the UK, following research that shows many school sports lessons do not currently meet governmental standards.

Over 100 specialist PE teachers will be employed by state primary schools this September in order to give pupils under the age of 11 access to exercise sessions, healthy living advice, and competitive sports.

This announcement follows the chair of the Youth Sport Trust, Baroness Sue Campbell’s warning that PE in primary schools has become little more than playtime. Baroness Campbell noted that improvements were necessary in order to cut childhood obesity rates, boost ‘physical literacy’ and improve pupils’ confidence.

Further to this new measure, the government has pledged to invest £150 million in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 to improve the overall standard of physical education in primary schools.



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‘Concussion in sport’ discussed by major sporting bodies

Concussion in SportWhilst sport is undoubtedly fun, whether played by a grass roots group or a national team, there is always a risk of injury. Concussion can be experienced in all types of sport, contact or non-contact and can have serious repercussions if untreated.

The issue of concussion has come to the fore in recent years, with major sporting bodies meeting last month (May) to discuss raising awareness of the issue.

The Sport and Recreating Alliance played host to representatives from the English Lacrosse Association, England Basketball, British American Football Association, British Eventing, British Cycling, British Equestrian Federation and the Rugby Football Union.

The meeting aimed to raise awareness of concussion, and create a consistency in the medical advice, reporting, guidelines and suspension times across the board.

Commenting on the meeting, James Allen of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said:

“Concussion is a cross-sport issue which must be taken seriously. Many of our members already have excellent systems in place to keep their participants as safe as possible and it’s fantastic that they have been forthcoming in sharing their knowledge.

“The more sporting organisations understand concussion, and how other sports are dealing with it, the better equipped they will be to ensure their own participants safety.”



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Extra tickets available for the Commonwealth Games

100m RunnersWith the Glasgow Commonwealth Games kicking off in little over a month’s time, 100,000 extra tickets went on sale earlier this month.

The organisers stated that after finalising the layouts of venues and releasing those tickets that had previously been saved for sponsors, 100,000 extra tickets were made available for all 17 sports.

Further to this, additional tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies were released.

The first set of tickets was released in August 2013, with 2.3 million people registering interest in the one million available tickets.

An incredible 100,000 applications were made for the men’s 100m final, whilst popular sports such as track cycling and diving were also oversubscribed.

Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to grab any of the remaining seats on the Glasgow 2014 ticketing website.



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What is a Fitness Trail?

'Run and Leap' station on a Fitness TrailWith the warmer weather finally here (at least for now), more and more gym goers will be heading outside to get their dose of vitamin D whilst exercising.

Fitness trails have been increasing in popularity over the past five years and can now be spotted across the UK in local parks, exercise retreats and gyms alike.

A fitness or ‘trim trail’ consists of a number of exercise stations in an outdoor location, aimed at encouraging runners and walkers to include apparatus based exercise as part of their regime. The trail can be set beside a pathway, all together in a playground type lay out or set to create an assault course.

'Chin Up' station on a Fitness TrailThe equipment is designed to give you much the same type of work out as that of a gym, but without the need for extra equipment. Fitness trails are created to encourage a calisthenic workout - the use of your own body weight to create resistance. Chin-up bars, push up bars, balance beams, sit-up bars, vaults, ladders and monkey bars are just some of the pieces of apparatus sportsequip.co.uk provide in our range of fitness trails.

Overall, a fitness trail can be set up in any outdoor space and users will really see the benefits in their balance, strength and co-ordination. For more information on our range of fitness trails, please contact us on 01858 545789 or visit our website.



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Sir Steve Redgrave calls for more school sport variety and training

One of many  gold winning momentsSir Steve Redgrave this month called for more sports training for primary school teachers in order to tackle rising obesity rates.

Speaking at the University of Gloucestershire, Sir Steve echoed Lord Coe’s plea for families, schools and businesses to help to prevent sedentary lifestyles for young people. Sir Steve asked for further sports training for school teachers, and more variety in activity in order to keep young people interested and reduce Gloucester’s rising obesity rate.

Currently, 26% of children in Gloucester are classed as obese, with 80% of adults in the area unaware of the links between obesity and heart disease.

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Grass roots sports clubs receive £17m for improvement

Sport England Inspired Facilities

Grass roots sports projects have this month received a share of £17 million raised by Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. The fund was set up in 2011 with the aim of restoring community sports facilities and converting existing building into grass roots sport venues.

Girl Playing FootballThe fund is now open for a second time, allowing many more communities to benefit. Councils, schools, community and voluntary organisations are able to bid for a share of the £20 million that is available to help upgrade unattractive, expensive to run, or difficult to maintain facilities. The Inspired Facilities fund is a now an open programme, and so projects can apply for funding at any time rather than by specific dates as was previously the case.

Commenting on the success of the Inspired Facilities fund, Sport England Property Director Charles Johnston said: “The Inspired Facilities fund has had a huge impact on grass roots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £88 million into more than 1,600 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.”

You can find out more about the Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund here:



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