Ulster University

University of Ulster Spearheads Cross-Border Student Sport Ireland Research

Professor Marie Murphy

The University of Ulster has been chosen by Student Sport Ireland to lead a pioneering €120K cross-border research partnership project examining the participation of third level students in sport and physical activity.

The research project – the first of its kind in Ireland – has been made possible through significant funding contributions from Student Sport Ireland member institutions, the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland.

The research project – called the Student Activity and Sport Study for Ireland –will include the first large-scale survey (11,000 respondents) of third level student participation in sport and physical activity.

Ulster’s partners in the project are Dublin City University, University of Limerick, Waterford IT and the University of Wolverhampton.

There is currently is no data available as to how the policies and programmes of individual colleges compare with others, or how levels of participation vary across the sector. This study aims to bridge that knowledge gap.

The survey will be conducted in October-November 2014., with the results being analysed and findings made available in 2015.

The principal investigator is the University of Ulster’s Professor Marie Murphy, who said:

“I’m very excited to be leading this important cross border-research project into sport and physical activity among students.

“Student life is a time of transition, when habits of exercise and physical activity are formed that may continue throughout an individual’s adult life. This project will find out the factors which influence students’ decisions to participate in physical activity and sport.

“The survey finding will enable us to offer practical recommendations that will make a real difference to whether students continue to enjoy the health benefits that sports and physical activity can bring throughout their lives.”

In addition to the publications emerging from the data, the study will also serve as a baseline for future follow-up research, and will recommend strategies to increase physical activity among students.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Representing the five partners in the Student Activity and Sport Study for Ireland are: Professor Marie Murphy and Kyle Ferguson ( University of Ulster) Dr Catherine Woods (DCU), Dr Ciaran MacDonncha (University of Limerick), Dr Niamh Murphy (Waterford Institute of Technology), and Professor Alan Nevill of the University of Wolverhampton.

The survey sample will be drawn from students registered in 2013/2014 in all Irish universities, institutes of technology, colleges of education and higher education students in Northern Ireland Further Education colleges.

The research will include a large survey of student attitudes and behaviour, an assessment of health and fitness indices and an analysis of the specific situation for physical activity and sport in colleges and universities across the island.
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