News Nov 26th 2015

True Benefits of Playing Sports in College

Getting a college education in the UK is a major investment. Parents and students expect a return on their tuition fee in the form of good employment and high salary in the future. Usually , this would mean getting the best grades possible in all your courses. Few would probably consider an institution's sports program in gaining a competitive advantage for the future.

Certainly, this criterion alone would not be enough to convince students (and parents) to enroll in a specific university. Recent research may just change all that. Here are the true benefits of playing sports in college.

Better employment

A British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) study commissioned in 2013 indicates that students that actively engaged in college sports earned 18% more, about £5,824 a year, than their non-sporty counterparts did. Employers put a premium on college sports not because they expect to profit directly from a worker's skill in football or baseball, but because they expect these graduates to have a well-developed sense of teamwork and leadership. More than half of graduates that participated in college sports agree that it enhanced their skill-sets in these aspects.

Employers look at more than an applicant's academic achievement. They rely on the potential value that student athletes can bring to an organization. This may be the reason why significantly more students that did not participate in college sports (27%) were unemployed at some point in their careers than students that did (21%).

Not only are student athletes more likely to land a job; they are also more likely to get higher increases while employed. They received £3,024 more increases than employees did did with no sports participation at all.

Better friends

Many people form important social and professional relationships in college that persist beyond graduation. Students that participate in sports share a special bond with their teammates. They have much in common to begin with, and working closely together only enhances their connection.

Because participants in sports are from all types of students, it helps them establish a wide network that spans different industries, ethnicities, genders, and social classes. Sports cultivate a culture of acceptance and camaraderie not present in academic classrooms.

Being part of a team also helps the students develop self-confidence and good self-image. It makes it easier for them to make friends outside their teams, and to keep these friendships going after graduation.

Better health

Students who participate in sports acquire healthy habits in order to keep fit for the game. This is always a good thing in young people, and it usually carries over to adult life.

Aside from maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, student athletes learn to work hard and strive towards goals. They are more organized, and likely to plan and coordinate their personal and professional lives. These habits lead to positive attitudes and outlook, which means less stress at home and at work.

It is fortunate many colleges and universities recognize the importance of sports in student development and employability. Aside from institutions such as Loughborough, which specialize in Sports Science, there are those that admirably accommodate the sports needs of students in other disciplines.

Excellent sporting facilities and athletic programs suitable for all types of students distinguish them. According to the BUCS, the best non-sport universities or colleges for sports include:

Durham University

University of Edinburgh

University of Bath

University of Birmingham

University of Exeter

Your choice of college or university can give you distinct advantages after graduation. In choosing an institution for your college education, you should consider not only academic excellence, but also sports accommodation. Participating in at least one college sport during your stay can give you more benefits on top of all the fun and sports medals you'll receive.

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