University of Bolton and Decathlon announce an innovative three-year sports partnership for students and town

Posted on Monday 30th November 2015

Decathlon Group 2

The University of Bolton is delighted to announce a new three-year partnership with Decathlon, through the leading European sports retailer’s Bolton store.

The agreement will see Decathlon Bolton create a partnership with the University of Bolton and Bolton Students’ Union, exclusively supplying students and their sports clubs with discounted sports apparel requirements.

This will be achieved through University of Bolton Sport, a new brand name for the University and Students’ Union sport and active wellbeing services. University of Bolton Sport aims to:

  • encourage and support more students to take on and keep a sporting habit for life;
  • increase graduates’ employability prospects through initiatives such as volunteering with Bolton Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (BOSPPA) in delivering sport and physical activity opportunities to disadvantaged community groups;
  • be part of the initiative that strengthens the Bolton student experience, developing graduate employability skills through the Bolton Award;
  • promote corporate social responsibility by exemplifying the ‘town and gown’ working partnership, focusing on sport and its associated benefits;
  • build the relationship between students’ sports participation and academic school-based educational performance;
  • develop sport volunteering and business enterprise in lifelong learning.

Said the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Professor George E Holmes DL:

‘We only have to cast back our minds to the London Olympics to recall what can be achieved through sport – not just on the pitch or the track but through the passion sport inspires. The cultural legacy those games gave this country has been sensational, showing the potential of sport to transform communities with a drive to achieve that cannot be under estimated.

‘This partnership with will have great benefits for our University, our wider community and our students; we are delighted to be working with Decathlon.’

Partnership benefits include:

  • University of Bolton students and staff will be encouraged to take out a membership card with the Decathlon Bolton store, entitling them to discounted offers with students and staff earning one point for every pound spent on purchases. For every 250 points the scheme member automatically receives a £5 loyalty voucher;
  • For every £250 students and staff spend on Decathlon Bolton goods, the Student Union will redeem £10 through a loyalty account to reinvest ‘free vouchers’ into  student sporting apparel and equipment;
  • The University can order from a discounted range of Bolton Sport team wear packages for students enrolled on academic sports courses, as can students’ union sports clubs, both receiving two-year warranty on all Bolton Sport and Decathlon brand products;   
  • Students actively engaging through the Bolton Award will receive gifted clothing items and sports equipment for use in return for their commitment to fulfilling community sports volunteer roles as Bolton Decathletes;
  • Recognition of student progression and completion through gifting Bolton Award prizes for sporting endeavour;
  • Creation of part-time student and graduate internships to work in the Bolton Decathlon store and support the partnerships community sports activities with other partners, such as Bolton Council, Greater Sport and Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Said Bolton Students’ Union President, Arthur Kaddu:

‘We’re excited to support the new partnership between the University of Bolton and Decathlon. This relationship will improve our links with the local community, improve employability for students, and also bring together all our sports clubs into one clear brand. I look forward to working with Decathlon to improve the student experience for all students.’

Said Craig Hobbs, Lecturer in Sports Development from the University’s School of Sport and Biomedical Sciences:

‘We are excited to have secured this innovative partnership with Decathlon. It represents more than a kit deal as Decathlon Bolton’s investment into our student sporting offer will add value to academic courses, together with supporting and rewarding student advancement opportunities offered through work-based training in various sports practitioner disciplines, employability skills workshops, community volunteering, coaching and instruction during 35 hours of Bolton Employability Award.

‘Research measuring the impact of engagement in sport on graduate employability indicates university life is not just about degree qualifications. Building students’ attitudes towards work and how they demonstrate leadership, self-motivation, commitment and team work attributes, as well as practical experiences through career development activities outside regular academic routines, all support successfully competing at job interview.’ 

Said Andy Barker, Store Manager at Decathlon Bolton:

‘We see this as a fantastic opportunity to fulfil Decathlon’s company promise of encouraging participation in sport and making the pleasures and benefits of sport available to the University student communities across Bolton.

‘Partnering with the University and Student Union, Decathlon Bolton aims to promote access to and participation in sport by gifting its own “passion brands” of sporting products such as Quechua, b'Twin, Kipsta ou Tribord products as well as creating graduate internships and opportunities to become “Bolton Decathletes” – student sports volunteers. These roles aim to develop graduate employability and students’ ability to take on new responsibilities and get more people, more active across Bolton’s communities.’