The EU Commission has granted Trinity Sport €391,675 in funding to run a “practical intervention programme”, aiming to help third-level students who are in need of physical and mental health support.
The funding will be used to create a safe, health and fitness environment for third-level students, with experts in sport and student counselling services delivering the programme, entitled “Mind, Body, Boost”.
The grant was awarded from the EU Commission’s Erasmus+ Sport 2020 programme under the “collaboration of partners, in support of EU Strategies in the areas of social inclusion and equal opportunities”.
In a press statement, Trinity Sport said: “The aim of the “Mind, Body, Boost” project is to encourage inclusivity and equality through sport by creating a safe health and fitness environment for third level students who need physical and mental health support.”
“The programme uses the proven anti-depressant effects of exercise to prevent the development of serious mental health issues”, Trinity Sport continued.
The fitness and mental health programme runs for four weeks and is custom designed. Some of the activities involved include mindfulness skills training, group inclusivity work, challenging physical activities and psychological support tools.
Trinity Sport further added that the programme’s purpose is to address “societal issues of social isolation and stress management”.
The programme’s first round begins from November 23rd over Zoom, and all Trinity students are eligible to sign up for free, though limited spaces are available and registration closes next Tuesday. Its structure will involve a 30 minute mental health and well-being session followed by 30 minutes of exercise.
Provost Patrick Prendergrast said in a press statement: “Trinity College Dublin is delighted to receive significant funding from the EU Erasmus+ Sport programme, which will bring this project to another level.”
“I am proud of our colleagues in Trinity Sport and Student Counselling, who developed the concept for this project from a motivation to support our students’s physical and mental health issues in a more rounded, collaborative, inclusive and social way.”
In a press statement, Head of Trinity Sport and Recreation Michelle Tanner, who led the project, said: “The funding will enable us and other third level institutions in Ireland and across Europe to collaborate and deliver this project on our campuses, improving the physical and mental health of more students.”
“We believe in the power of this project to connect students, boost their health and it couldn’t be timelier to achieve the backing of the EU now as we endure increased physical and mental health challenges during the pandemic. Thank you to all our colleagues for their continued support and we look forward to working with all our partners.”
The programme has already been piloted in College and at the NUI Galway . Trinity Sport assured in their press statement that it had been successful with third-level students reporting that the project had positively impacted their lives. It added that it had improved student’s motivation and confidence to engage in regular physical activity.