A COLLEGE is set to kickstart a new scheme to help hundreds of students get fitter.
Hartlepool College of Further Education is one of only 117 organisations to get National Lottery funding to pay for a sport professional to work there.
The expert will be known as a College Sport Maker and the project has £17m of investment to fund 150 new jobs for full-time sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers over the next five years.
Statistics show that students in further education play the least sport of young people aged 16 and over who are in education.
Research shows that around 65 per cent of school pupils aged 16 and over do sport at least once a week, compared to 53 per cent of higher education students and 50 per cent of college students.
Participation is lower among young women than men at college so the new workers will have a specific remit to ensure the sporting opportunities are attractive to young women.
College principal and chief executive Michael Bretherick said: “These are exciting times for sport.
“Our students and staff, some 92 of them, experienced the Games this summer as both employees and volunteers and I am now proud to say that the lasting legacy will impact so many more Hartlepool students as well as providing an excellent employment opportunity for the successful applicant.”
Shaun Hope, head of sport and public services at the college, said: “The College Sport Maker will help individual sports to market their opportunities to students as well as linking our college with community sports clubs, running leagues and sports groups and offering coaching for certain sports.
“We expect the successful applicant to make a significant impact, creating a sporting habit for life for hundreds of our students.”