University of East London is hoping to find the next generation of sporting talents
- Credit: UEL
University of East London is working with local schools across East London to help tackle the rising tide of physical inactivity amongst children and find the next generation of sporting talent as part of a national campaign supported by Dame Katherine Grainger, one of Britain’s most decorated Olympians.
Launched in 2019, the Sport in the Futures project led by the university aims to motivate local children to participate in sport, promote health, inspire participants to engage with school and become familiar with a university setting.
The programme is focussed on using sport to increase educational opportunities and life chances for pupils from 23 different primary schools where 71 per cent are learning English as a second language and 31% are eligible for free school meals.
Sport In Your Futures worrying decrease in physical activity amongst children which has been exacerbated by the pandemic with Sport England’s recent Active Lives survey highlighting how almost a third of children (2.3 million) were classed as 'inactive' as a result of lockdown restrictions.
The programme is set to be re-launched back in schools in September and to help tackle increase will also focus on talent development and increasing the participation of local young children in national sporting talent pathways.
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It is being featured as part of this week’s Made at Uni Energising Places campaign led by Universities UK and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) which is highlighting the role universities will play in helping local communities recover from the pandemic and get active again.
Bisi Imafidon, Extended Schools Manager at Gallions Primary School, reflected on how university projects can provide a platform for development in young people.
“Lots of pupils from Gallions have benefitted from Sport in Your Future programme. Pupils have had their eyes opened to further education and future careers in sport. And at a time when physical activity levels in pupils are on the decline, this programme provides a platform for pupils to interact with role models promoting physical activity.
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"We are really looking forward to taking part in Sport in Your Future from September."
Dame Katherine Grainger added: “A lot of people know about the role universities play in developing some of our greatest Olympians and Paralympians but there is a real untold story about the work they do in their communities to improve the lives of people through sport and physical activity and the Sport In Your Futures scheme is a great example of that.”
The Made at Uni Energising Places campaign is taking place between July 12-16th, and includes the BUCS annual awards event which celebrates the positive effect of student sport and students who participate in the wider sporting sector in the UK.
To find out more about the Made at Uni Energising Places campaign visit www.madeatuni.org or follow @MadeAtUni on Twitter