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The Corporation

Posted: 07/11/16

Students get in the saddle with Sportivate funding

Students at West Nottinghamshire College have benefitted from a funding initiative called Sportivate – a £56 million national project designed to get 11-25 year olds participating in sporting activities.

  • Alisha EllisHill and Jazz White in the paddock at Fairview Farm Equestrian Centre
  • Sportivate funding has enabled students to enjoy six weeks of riding lessons
  • Students have enjoyed trying a new sport and meeting new friends
  • Sarah Maqbool prepares the stirrups

The group of 16 students, from a range of curriculum areas at the college, all signed up for a six-week horse riding programme – some of whom had never ridden a horse before.

The one-hour lessons took place at Fairview Farm Equestrian Centre in Ravenshead, where instructors taught the group to mount the horse, to steer, start and stop. The students also learnt to trot, canter and do basic jumps.

The college secured over £2,800 of funding through Sportivate to pay for these sessions, which is a project delivered via Sport Nottinghamshire. It will see over £160,000 per year invested throughout the county up to March 2017.

Hayley Willett, instructor at Fairview Farm said: “Many of this group have been learning riding skills from scratch and they’ve really enjoyed their lessons. Many of them have decided to set up their own riding club after the six sessions.

“They’ve picked up the foundation skills of horse riding very quickly and I’ve been impressed with their control over the horses.”

A Level student Sarah Maqbool said: “We’ve started to learn a bit about the equipment a horse needs for riding and I’ve enjoyed getting to know more people here who I wouldn’t normally see at college. It’s been fun learning all the little quirks of the horses that we ride – we all have a favourite.

“Some of us will be looking to ride here more after these sessions, as it’s given us a great insight into horse riding.”

College sport maker Rob Pearce added: “The Sportivate funding has provided students with the chance to take part in, new, exciting physical activity opportunities, that many of them would not have the chance to experience before – not just those who already study sport. It’s given them confidence to try something new, provided new ways of keeping healthy and active and they’ve made many new friends along the way.

“This has been a wonderful experience for the students, many of whom have expressed an interest in continuing with this after the initial six weeks – exactly what Sportivate’s objective is. Some will be setting up their own club off the back of this which will be great fun and boost their career prospects.”

In the coming months West Nottinghamshire College is set to benefit from further Sportivate funding to help start up more physical activity sessions. This includes kayaking, raveminton (glow in the dark badminton, using UV light) and gymnastics.