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Two Basingstoke colleges have joined forces
TWO Basingstoke colleges have joined forces to provide increased sporting opportunities for young people.
Queen Mary’s College (QMC) and Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) have secured £105,000 in lottery funding to employ a college sportmaker, who will work with students at both establishments.
The sportmaker will help students organise in-house competitions across a number of sports. The aim is to provide students who have an interest in sport, but do not play for college teams, with a way to participate.
Badminton, basketball, cricket, football, touch rugby and volleyball will be the sports initially offered, with the governing bodies sending coaches into colleges to train student leaders in the organisation of competitions.
In addition, the sportmaker will help sports to market themselves to students and strengthen links between the colleges and local clubs.
Sport England is using £20million of lottery money to fund the scheme across the country. The sportmaker working in Basingstoke will come at a cost of £150,000 over the course of five years, with Sport England providing £105,000 and the colleges stumping up £22,500 each.
It is hoped that the sportmaker will be in place by January, and Martin Livesey, head of sport and PE at QMC, is hoping to see a real difference in the level of participation.
“I think it is a good scheme because there is a big drop-off in participation at the age of 16,” he said. “Hopefully, this will tackle that, and it’s really good that the governing bodies are involved.”
Gareth Yeomans, BCoT’s programme manager for sport and public services, added: “We are really excited about this and we hope that it will get more students across the college interested in sporting activity. We are also hoping it will improve links between us and local sporting organisations.”
Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Raising participation levels among young people is absolutely crucial. These college sportmakers will make a real difference in helping young people to develop a sporting habit for life.”