After a successful £350,000 bid to Sport England, the Just Play programme was launched. It gives free sports sessions with no committment to all students and staff at the University, across all 3 campuses, from archery to glow in the dark Zumba. It's designed to encourage students and staff of all abilities.
There's been an amazing 3,000 students engaging in the programme this academic year across 3 campuses, and a total of over 13,000 session attendances.
Although we've engaged with thousands of students over the year through sport, we know that the little touches are really important .
After some students turned up to a Just Play swimming session and couldn't swim, we expanded Just Play with Just Play+ Learn To sessions.
They are small group taught classes from a qualified Level 2 or higher coach for a 6-8 week period. The see
The introduction of free sport and Just Play has meant a fantastic increase in sports attainment. Students now have the opportunity to try new sports and then compete for the Essex Blades Sports Federation against other Universities.
The increased membership has led to great success. Not only have the teams won 8 BUCS conference leagues, 2 conference cups, 2 individual Gold medals and 1 bronze medal. The university has also risen in the BUCS national rankings from 45th to 35th. Our highest ever.
The University of Essex is made up of three campuses, each about an hour away from the other. We wanted to bring the campuses together through sport, so we organised The Essex Cup.