D&A College backs sports programme

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Dundee and Angus College is one of 13 Scottish colleges to give in-principle support to a new competitive sports programme.

The programme, which has bene offered to all Scotland’s colleges, was launched last week by the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn.

Mr Hepburn was joined by the basketball teams from Edinburgh College and Dundee and Angus College at Edinburgh College’s Granton Campus.

The initiative aims to promote physical activity and sport among students, providing them with the opportunity to participate in sporting activity and cross-college competitions on Wednesday afternoons.

The project is coordinated and supported by Scottish Student Sport, which works with colleges and universities to foster, promote and develop student sport and physical activity.

Initially five sports will be involved – football, badminton, basketball, rugby and volleyball. There are also plans to extend to include other sports as the project progresses. It is hoped that students’ associations will support students who are interested in setting up sports club in a different discipline. It is hoped that the move will:

Enhance the student experience; help to boost the fitness levels of students; encourage students’ social interaction with peers at their own college and others; encourage personal discipline and a range of other skills transferable to life and work; improve mental health and wellbeing; encourage students to develop a healthy work life balance; make students’ time at college richer and more satisfying.

Many colleges have committed to making extra provision for the increase in sporting activity, such as increasing the availability of sports facilities for training sessions, providing extra support for staff involved in the administration of student sport, and supporting teaching staff to rearrange timetables to accommodate Wednesday afternoon activities.

Mr Hepburn said: “It’s great to see Scotland’s colleges looking to encourage sports participation among their students.

“Many people get out of the habit of taking part in physical activity when they leave school, so anything that encourages them to keep this going has to be welcomed. There are also some great personal benefits to taking part in sport that will have a positive effect on the students’ studies and wellbeing.”

The scheme will formalise support for students to participate in sport and physical activity whatever their level of performance.

The sports sessions are optional and those not interested in sport will be supported to take part in other extra-curricular activities of their choice that will also add to a positive student experience.