PETROC in Barnstaple is one of 12 South West colleges set to benefit from £1.1 million in National Lottery funding to help students get involved in sport.

The money will fund 11 new jobs for full-time sports professionals to act as College Sport Makers across the region over the next five years.

The College Sport Makers will help individual sports to market their opportunities to students as well as linking colleges with community sports clubs, running leagues and sports groups and offering coaching for certain sports. Every College Sport Maker will be expected to help hundreds of students to make sport a bigger part of their lives.

Further education students have been identified as playing the least sport of young people aged 16 and over who are in education.

Participation is lower among young women than men at college, so the new workers will have a specific remit to ensure the sporting opportunities are attractive to young women and are marketed effectively to them.

Sport England has also invited colleges across the country to bid for a share of £3 million of additional funding to improve the sport they are able to offer. Grants of between £30,000 and £150,000 will be offered to help colleges to run new sport projects. This money could pay for equipment to introduce new sports at a college, the cost of running new leagues, facility hire for students from colleges that do not have facilities or transport to get students to sessions.