Paul Tilley and Charlotte Doyle receiving award

Our award has been given for our commitment to improving physical activity across the university community in Portsmouth.

14 December 2022

The Physical Activity Excellence Award

As part of our commitment to increasing physical activity levels across the university community we recently applied for the Physical Activity Excellence Award, awarded by ukactive and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).

ukactive exists to improve the health of the nation by getting more people, more active, more often. ukactive provides services and facilitates partnerships for a broad range of organisations, all of which support our vision and have a role to play in achieving that goal. For over 100 years BUCS has been at the forefront of university sport in the UK. We work with BUCS  to get more students active more often, through traditional competitive sport and providing physical activity opportunities.

The Physical Activity Excellence Award is designed to create a sector standard for higher education institutions to achieve that demonstrates good practice in increasing physical activity engagement across its population or through a specific programme. The criteria set looks to assess applicants across four areas; strategy and planning, insight and research, partnerships and collaboration and implementation and delivery.

The aims of the award are designed to reward institutions that demonstrate a commitment and provision towards tackling inactivity. Through collaborative working, the award allows ukactive and BUCS to develop best practice guidance and a toolkit to inspire other institutions. 

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been given the Physical Activity Excellence Award, which is a great recognition of our hard work in increasing physical activity in Portsmouth. We were presented the award on Tuesday 13 December at the BUCS Winter Summit along with a number of other universities across the country.

Paul Tilley, Head of Sport said “It’s absolutely fantastic that our team have been rewarded for their hard work over the last year or two. Everything we do is focused on improving physical activity for not only students but staff and the university community too. Our strategy is aimed at improving physical activity through three different stages of customers' journeys in physical activity; Play, Train and Compete. Play encourages social sport and developing personal relationships through physical activity, train focuses more on personal development and compete looks to encourage users to achieve their personal bests.”

“Ravelin Sports Centre has provided an excellent platform for students to play, train and compete in a World-class facility while studying. To offer our services to the Portsmouth community shows the aspirations of the University and the City in tackling inactivity. With many partners across the university and across the city we’re able to reach those with low activity levels to encourage them to increase their activity levels.

Investing in our campus and student services is vital in ensuring our students are engaged and physically active and being rewarded for the impact we have is brilliant. We’re an ambitious university and we recognise the benefits of physical activity, not just physically but also it’s role in mental wellbeing and academic performance. Being recognised for the part we play and the hard work that goes into this is amazing.

Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation

“Investing in our campus and student services is vital in ensuring our students are engaged and physically active and being rewarded for the impact we have is brilliant. We’re an ambitious university and we recognise the benefits of physical activity, not just physically but also its role in mental wellbeing and academic performance. Being recognised for the part we play and the hard work that goes into this is amazing.”

We join a list of only 16 universities across the country to have achieved the award and have been rated as excelling in physical activity provision. We are also eligible to apply for the ukactive Physical Activity Excellence Award early next year which assesses physical activity provision across the whole sector, not just across higher education institutions.

While it is great to be recognised for our efforts we still have some way to go. We interact with a number of students across the campus and a lot of the students involved in our services are highly engaged in physical activity. It is, however, the unengaged that we still need to reach. The benefits for those unengaged students are clear to us, we need to understand their barriers to physical activity and remove them to ensure more students are more active, more of the time.

If you want to get more physically active our PLAY sessions are free for students throughout January or select your membership to include a range of activities.