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£5,000 sport grant for Writtle University College

person on paddleboard

Paddleboarding, kayaking and other water sports will soon be taking place at Writtle University College in Essex.

A £5,000 grant is funding equipment for the University College’s reservoir.

The new kit includes paddleboards, buoyancy aids and kayaks and canoes that will be used by further and higher education students as well as local schools, youth and disability groups.

The money was awarded by Active Thames, a partnership programme that supports the development of sports on the tidal Thames and inland waterways in London, Kent and Essex.

“Paddlesports are popular activities with fantastic health benefits,” said Dr Greg Deacon, Head of Sport, Health & Wellbeing and Partnerships Manager.

“We’d like to thank Active Thames and Active Essex for supporting our plans to offer inclusive sessions, events and open days.”

“We look forward to introducing our students and the wider general public to this exciting sport. The equipment will also benefit many organisations with links to the University College, such as Chelmsford Disability Club.”

Based just two miles from Chelmsford, the reservoir is part of the University College’s large, scenic estate. It will be used between April and October to protect the migrating birds that visit the area during the colder months.

Other facilities are open year-round and include the country’s first permanent 3×3 basketball courts, extensive playing fields and a gym.

In 2022, the University College launched a new Centre of Sport and Health. Students have access to professional-standard facilities, including strength and conditioning equipment, teaching spaces and a high-tech sport laboratory. Over 20 local organisations, from the NHS to mental health groups, have already benefitted from the Centre.

For more information on new paddleboarding plans and Writtle University College’s wide range of sports courses, go to

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