Lottery boost for fitness scheme

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A college has won a five-figure lottery boost to run a sport scheme.

East Durham College, in Peterlee, won a share of £5.8m of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s Further Education Activation Fund.

The college was awarded £69,400 for its Shape It programme that was developed after bosses asked students why they do not take part in sport and a number of issues were identified including not wanting to be watched while participating and not wanting to stay behind after college.

To overcome this the college has identified gaps in student timetables and arranged for sessions in pilates, dance and table tennis during these times.

In response to student feedback these sessions take place in an exercise room which does not have a viewing area or windows.

Rose Fraser, sport development officer at East Durham College, said the scheme comes after college consulted students.

She said: “Having listened to the students’ voice we can now offer them access to sport-specific coaches in a broad range of activities, inspiring them to start and enjoy sport and increase their level of activity. We believe our project will improve the health and well-being of our students, raising their aspirations and their quality of life in college.”

Sport England’s Further Education Activation Fund aims to boost the number of students taking part in sport by supporting colleges to design and develop projects tailored to the sporting needs of their students. Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: “We want people to develop a sporting habit for life.”