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Ali Burkett from the University of Chester’s Sport and Active Lifestyle Department.

The institution is one of 19 universities to have successfully bid into the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Active 4 scheme, which provides digital technologies to support university projects that promote physical activity.

The scheme will help the University to develop and deliver its Active Campus initiative and provide tangible physical activity and sport opportunities, despite the challenges of the current climate.

As part of the application process, the University was asked to choose from three interventions that the BUCS Active 4 project aims to tackle and select which technologies would best help the institution.

Ali Burkett, BUCS Development Officer in the University’s Sport and Active Lifestyle Department, said: “We’re thrilled to have been successful in the BUCS Active 4 expression of interest.

“Our project will support our Active Campus initiative, which is the University’s main physical activity engagement programme.

“We’ve chosen to focus our use of the technologies on inactivity in female students and improving student mental health, and we selected an activity finder and virtual challenges with rewards to help us support our students.”

The Active Campus project focuses on two key areas – in-person activity timetables and virtual challenges.


Ali Burkett and Ali Cutler from the University of Chester’s Sport and Active Lifestyle Department.
Ali Burkett and Ali Cutler from the University of Chester’s Sport and Active Lifestyle Department.

Ali explained: “The timetables will offer on-campus sessions which are free, social, non-competitive, non-commitment and open to all at our largest campuses in Chester and Warrington.”

Activities will include fitness classes, football, frisbee, netball, table tennis, tennis, urban golf and volleyball. There will also be an opportunity for off-campus activities, such as walking groups. The virtual challenges will include three categories – monthly activity challenge calendars, urban fitness trails, and institution-wide leader boards.

Ali added: “Through our virtual challenges we aim to target our selected interventions and meet our objectives by opening up the majority of our challenges for the whole institution to access, allowing all students, across all sites and campuses to have the same access.

“These platforms will allow us to engage with our student community in a far more meaningful and dynamic way.

“We are very excited about launching our activity finder and challenges in the New Year.”

This is the fourth cycle of BUCS Active, which is backed by Sport England, and will be delivered on a new digital technology platform, powered by Playwaze.

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