Five Norfolk colleges are among 14 across the East of England sharing a windfall £1.3m to invest in making sport more fun for students.

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The funding comes from Sport England and aims to increase the number of young people at further education colleges involved in physical activity.

A survey by the organisation found just 50pc of students take part in sport at least once a week compared with 53pc of higher education learners and 65pc of school pupils.

The £1.3m will be used to fund 13 new jobs for full-time sports instructors who will become “college sport makers” over the next five years.

City College Norwich, Easton College, East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Great Yarmouth College and the College of West Anglia have all been awarded a share of the cash.

Sport England said the new roles would have a particular focus on making sure sporting opportunities were attractive to young women and were marketed effectively to them since participation rates are particularly low among female students.

Richard Lewis, chairman of Sport England, said: “Too many teenagers drop out of sport when they leave school, as it gets squeezed by competing demands like studying, work and relationships. We want college sport makers to remind young people how much fun sport is and to help them build it into their schedules so they develop a sporting habit for life.”

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.

They will be expected to help hundreds of students make sport a bigger part of their lives.

Nationally, £20m has been made available to create 150 jobs.

Sport England also today invited colleges across the country to bid for a share of £3m of additional funding to improve the sport they offer.

Grants of between £30,000 and £150,000 will be offered to help colleges run new projects. The money could pay for equipment to introduce new sports, the cost of running new leagues, venue hire or transport.

The investment is part of Sport England’s five-year £1 billion youth and community strategy.

The full list of colleges in the East receiving funding for college sport makers is:

Chelmsford College

Palmer’s College

Peterborough Regional College

West Herts College

The College of West Anglia

North Hertfordshire College

East Norfolk Sixth Form College

Great Yarmouth College

Oaklands College

Easton College

City College Norwich

Colchester Institute

Suffolk New College

West Suffolk College

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