UCLan Sport’s budget, which was £80,000 last year, has been completely scrapped.
With over 30,000 students at UCLan paying £9,000 a year and the university developing plans for a £200m development, it is a shock to see that the university is making such drastic cuts.
Ed Evans, Activities and Participation Officer at UCLan Students’ Union, expressed disappointment at the budget cuts:
“It’s a great shame to see the UCLan sports budget being cut as it really supported focus clubs and encouraged students to get involved and gain valuable skills & qualifications which strengthen career prospects alongside one’s academic studies.
“Sport plays a vital role in the overall student experience and it should be recognised and supported.”
In the past, the money has been used to help subsidise the costs of playing sport at a high level, coaching sessions that help students increase their career prospects and equipment purchases.
Part of the money has been used to subsidise costs to students for travel, kit, etc. when selected for national university squads which was happened regularly in the past few years.
In 2015 two UCLan students were picked for the Rugby League national university squads, and went on to win the Four Nations tournament in Ireland. The students were able to apply for the money to help pay for training camps and for the costs associated with regional and national representation.
The budget has also subsidised the Get Qualified programme and encouraged more students to gain coaching and officiating qualifications in a wide range of sports. Pulse, Budget, The Getin2 scheme, which helped students be more active, also received funding from the sport budget.
The budget also supported Focus Sports in the past, and has been used for one-off equipment purchases, additional coaching costs and events. Focus Sports is a selection of sports that the university wants to become more advanced in. The Focus Sports are netball, women’s football, rugby league, table tennis, cycling, golf and basketball. For example, £4,000 was transferred directly to the Students’ Union from the UCLan Sport budget last year and there have been similar amounts transferred in the past, which we have asked Focus clubs to bid into.
The budget cuts will have a devastating effect on sport at UCLan with students having to pay more money if they are picked to play in national competitions or gain extra sport qualifications.