Broadening the appeal of athletic activity

The LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) Active Lifestyle programme is helping the School engage more students in sports and athletics activity than ever before. Last year almost 2,500 students benefited from open accessible sessions, which are deliberately designed to encourage those who otherwise might be put off by a competitive environment or the high costs of purchasing equipment.

The Annual Fund provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to fund large scale projects and activities they otherwise would be unable to run.

Yoga 4

From cricket and basketball to Zumba and Ceilidh dancing, Active LifeStyle combines traditional sporting programmes with less orthodox forms of exercise to provide maximum opportunity for students to get fit. Most come in the form of low cost or free drop-in sessions which place no pressure on the student to commit to further involvement.

“We initially received funding from Sport England in September 2014, with the aim of encouraging and providing opportunities for as many LSE students as possible to become active and take part in physical activity,” said Luke Staples-Preston, LSESU Active LifeStyle manager. “Even if it is just a 30-minute yoga class twice a week, being active at university is increasingly important for students who face multiple stresses; relieving those stresses is essential to a healthy life.”

The Annual Fund has stepped in to plug a gap as the Sport England funding reaches its end. Luke added: “The Annual Fund committing to fund the project for the next year is so important and will ensure more students will have a great and healthy time at LSE.”

The programme has recently connected with a number of other student services, such as halls of residence and the PhD academy, in order to reach as much of the student body as possible. In 2016/17 2,471 individual students attended over 300 classes or workshops, with over 9,700 visits when multiple attendances are taken into account. Some of the less conventional highlights included belly dancing and LED Sabre Fencing – informally known as ‘lightsabers’.

In 2017/18 individual sessions will be complemented by Active LifeStyle Tournaments, with various sports represented on campus and students having the option to represent their department, halls of residence, or society.

“The Annual Fund provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to fund large scale projects and activities they otherwise would be unable to run. Over the years we’ve seen such support helping students to attract high profile speakers from across the globe to speak at public events, showcase theatre productions and dance shows that sell out the Peacock Theatre, and purchase vital sports equipment for a variety of clubs.

Last year alone saw funds awarded to 76 societies, clubs and student groups. Among the projects funded, Student Action for Refugees joined forces with the United Nations Society to host LSE Refugee Week, inviting leading refugee rights campaigners to deliver talks to over 300 students. Projects such as these are critical in helping LSE students develop employable skills and enrich their time at the School. Thank you for your invaluable support.” 

Mahatir Pasha, LSESU General Secretary