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Colleges get cash to fund sports professionals
HUNDREDS of youngsters at colleges across Worcestershire have been handed a major sporting boost.
National Lottery chiefs have awarded the West Midlands £1.1million to fund 11 new full-time sports professionals to work across the region.
The workers, known as College Sports Makers, will go into colleges and sixth forms to encourage more students to get physical.
Worcester College of Technology, East Worcestershire College and Stourbridge College of Further Education are part of 13 establishments set to benefit from the visits.
It follows research from Sport England revealing only 50 per cent of college students take part in sport once a week. The trio are part of the Association of Colleges, a body which made the bid for the money and developed the idea.
Clare Howard, from the association, said: “There has always been a strong tradition of sport in colleges but this new funding brings much needed extra capacity.
“This will allow us to really build on the momentum created by London 2012 and provide new, and different sporting opportunities for a greater number of college students.”
Young women get involved less than men, so the workers will have a specific remit to ensure sporting opportunities are marketed to both sexes.
The Government also said Worcestershire and the wider West Midlands region would benefit hugely.
Maria Miller, secretary of state for culture, said: “These College Sport Makers will make a real difference in helping young people develop a habit for life.”
Sport England has also launched a new grant scheme which colleges can bid to individually.
Cash awards of £30,000 to £150,000 are now available from a £3 million pot towards sport, including everything from equipment to running new leagues.
Richard Lewis, from Sport England, 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.”