The City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College given funding to help get students active

Monday 25th September 2017

The City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College has been given £74,375 funding from Sport England to reduce the number of its students who are completing less than thirty minutes of activity each week.

Sport England’s new Strategy ‘Towards an Active Nation’ puts tackling inactivity at the heart of what they do.  As part of this initiative, Sport England is investing £5 million into projects in colleges that will support their inactive students into regular activity.

Sport England research found:

  • Nearly 1/5 (roughly 138,000) college students are inactive i.e. do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week as per England’s Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations. Nearly 2/3 of the inactive group do nothing at all [i]
  • Students who go to college are more inactive than students who go to sixth form or university.[ii]
  • Being active can make a big difference to everyone’s health: 1 in 6 adults in the UK die as a result of being inactive.

Stoke Sixth Form CollegeThe City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College will be using Sport England’s investment to encourage students who currently take part in little or no physical activity to become more active and healthy. The college has appointed David Hardwick as it’s Health, Wellbeing and Sport Co-ordinator to work with students and introduce different activities based on feedback that meet their needs and wishes throughout the programme.

A number of varied and innovative activities including horse riding, climbing, archery, ice skating and dance have already been planned to motivate and inspire inactive students to get involved. There will also be bespoke sessions delivered with different curriculum departments including health and social care and theatre studies as well as a programme of activities to support students who are suffering with mental health issues.

Principal at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College Mark Kent stated: “I am delighted that this grant will enable the college to gain the resources to provide a wider range of opportunities to encourage all of our students to be active. Ensuring a positive contribution to their wellbeing and providing an excellent contribution to their ability, as a result, will help them to excel in their studies. We look forward to the years ahead as we work in a creative way to make the project a success.”

Around one in five college students are inactive and many come from groups that have lower socio-economic status or from ethnic groups that are less likely to be active. Colleges in the programme will target these groups specifically to reduce the activity gap between them and their student peers.

Mike Diaper, Executive Director of Community Sport said: “We are delighted to offer the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College national lottery funding to help get students active. College is a crucial time in a young person’s development. It is often the first time that activity is not a compulsory 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.”

Sport EnglandAbout Sport England

Sport England is a public body and invests more than £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.

It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

For further information on the national programme please contact:

To find out more about the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College visit or contact 01782 854221 / for more information.

[i] Sport England’s Active Lives survey (November 2015/2016) found that nearly 1/5 (18%) of 16-18 year old college students are inactive, and out of this inactive group, just under 2/3 (64%) do nothing at all.

There are currently 744,000 college students in England aged 16-18 according to the Association of Colleges 2016.

138,000 (18%) of them are currently inactive i.e. do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week. Of those who are inactive, 86,000 (64%) do nothing at all.

[ii] Sport England’s Active Lives survey (November 2015/2016) found that 13% of 16+ year olds in school sixth form were inactive. 12% of 16+ year olds in higher education were inactive and 20% of 16+ year olds in colleges are inactive.