Suffolk New College hopes new project tackling student inactivity will create healthy legacy

Childcare students at Suffolk New College getting fighting fit as part of new project. Picture: JOHN

Childcare students at Suffolk New College getting fighting fit as part of new project. Picture: JOHN NICE - Credit: JOHN NICE

Inactive students at an Ipswich college will be encouraged to take part in fun sporting activities like climbing as part of a new £160,000 project to improve their physical and mental health.

The Tackling Inactivity scheme at Suffolk New College is funded by Sport England using National Lottery cash and will focus on getting 600 pupils to participate in 30 minutes of exercise each week.

Earlier this year, education bosses put in a bid to help secure funds to make this project a reality.

This was successful and the college received almost £160,000 as part of Sport England’s Towards an Active Nation drive.

Ellie Tudor is the Tackling Inactivity project lead at Suffolk New College.

She said: “Sport and physical activity have so many benefits and can have a huge impact on both our mental and physical health.

“It helps to build self- esteem, push confidence and build resilience. I am really excited to help students find activities that they love and help them to choose healthier lifestyles”.

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Ms Tudor said the college wanted to look beyond traditional sports and come up with new and exciting activities to inspire students to pull on their trainers, such as Fight Klub, which is a boxing style workout to upbeat music, or climbing.

She added: “The key is sustainability, we want students to find an activity and continue to enjoy it after the course has finished. We have to create a legacy.”

According to Sport England research, around a fifth of college students do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, which is one of the reasons why it has launched Towards an Active Nation to kick-start projects like Tackling Inactivity.

Executive director of community sport at Sport England, Mike Diaper, said bosses at the organisation were “delighted” to back the Suffolk New College programme.

He added: “College is a crucial time in a young person’s development. It is often the first time that activity is not a part of their study programme and therefore all too many young people become inactive. This funding will allow colleges to be innovative in addressing the needs and desires of their students to help embed activity in their lifestyle in college and for years to come.”

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