03/03/2022

University of Bolton students take up activity challenge

Students from the University of Bolton have been developing a range of activities to help improve the physical, mental health and wellbeing of students and staff.student Uni Bolton Table Tennis The Sport Development and Coaching students have designed the programme to align with the British Inspirational Trust (BRIT) Challenge 2022.

The students have been working with the University of Bolton academic, professional services and sport and wellness providers.Badminton

The aim is to increase the physical activity and well-being habits of the entire University population and adopt a united approach to support students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Over the past two years, almost 180 universities and colleges have taken part in the annual BRIT Challenge.

It is designed to be completed by individuals working as a team to cover that year's distance target (2022 will be 2,022 miles) by participating in a range of physical activities.

These include hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding) tailored to fitness and ability level.

Sport Development and Coaching students are encouraging students and staff to enjoy the benefits of active lifestyles and living well, by boosting their self-esteem, mood, and energy, as well as reducing the risks of stress, clinical depression, weight gain and developing long term conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes. 

It is University Mental Health Day on Thursday 3 March and although students’ mental health has improved since May 2021, large numbers still continue to face challenges associated with Covid-19 and social isolation.

In September 2021, 63 per cent of students felt that the pandemic continued to negatively impact their mental health.

The students have collaborated with the University of Bolton Student’s Union President Nihit Tiwari to register the SU with the BRIT Challenge 2022. All students can register HERE through the University Sport and Wellness Centre to take part.  

A Just Giving fundraising page has been set up for the Bolton SU, challenging students and staff to achieve the collective distance of 2,022 miles and fundraising target of £2,022 – half of which will be donated back by the BRIT charity, to sustain mental health promotion through a variety of student-led active wellbeing activities.

Madalina Craciun, Sport Development and Coaching Student and volunteer Active Wellbeing Buddy, said: “We are really enjoying the opportunity to independently design, deliver and evaluate the BRIT Challenge activities, for fellow students and staff from different social and cultural backgrounds. Student throwing basket ball at the university of Bolton

Craig Hobbs, Senior Lecturer – Sport Development and Management and Programme Leader at the University, said: “Research shows that maintaining active lifestyles has proven benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing, especially in supporting the social integration of students, academic achievement and retention, and reducing loneliness and improve wellbeing.

“This is an incredibly important initiative being led by the Sport Development and Coaching students and tied in with the inclusive BRIT Challenge, in partnership with the University Faculty for Health and Wellbeing, Students Service and Experience and Bolton Students’ Union.

“The integration of this live project in developing and evaluating their practical and academic skills is really benefiting all Bolton students’ engagement in curricular and extra-curricular activity wellbeing, as we recover from the pandemic.”

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